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http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-07/ntch-quarantine-sign-on-mitchell-curtis27-farm/6373242

“Nothing has changed” for Katherine melon grower after virus declared impossible to eradicate
NT Country Hour By Daniel Fitzgerald

A Katherine melon grower says “nothing has changed” for his farm after the Northern Territory Government declared a plant virus cannot be eradicated.

The Department of Primary Industry (DPI) recently stepped back from trying to eradicate Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic Virus (CGMMV), opting instead for a management program.

The virus, which affects cucurbits like melons, pumpkins, zucchini, squash and cucumbers, was found to have spread from quarantine zones and is now confirmed on 21 properties across the Northern Territory.

Mitchell Curtis grew melons near Katherine until his farm was found to be infected with the virus and put under quarantine restrictions last year.

While the DPI is still putting together a formal plan for management, Mr Curtis said as far as he understands, the move to management will not change anything for his farm in the short term.

“Basically for us, nothing has changed,” he said.

“Most of it is structural at this stage and once they work that out, we might be able to plant crops, not cucurbits, but plant crops here in 12 months.

“Going from eradication, to management leaves a lot of questions to be answered, like whether we can send [cucurbits] down south from an area that’s been infected, what we have to do to stay clean if we do grow here; all those sorts of things to put certainty back into our orchard, so that we can actually grow melons again, all have to be answered.

“It may take us around 12 months to do that, to go and liaise with other states and work on the problem [of] whether or not we can grow in areas and stay clean with some protections in our growing process, or whether we can’t.”

The Territory’s Minister for Primary Industry, Willem Westra van Holthe, confirmed last week Northern Territory farmers growing cucurbits on land not infected with CGMMV are still able to sell their produce interstate with a Plant Health Certificate.

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Mr Curtis said the declaration that CGMMV cannot be eradicated ensured the nature of the Northern Territory melon industry has changed irreversibly.

“I think there’s some big questions over Territory melons, I think that’s to do with people not understanding what this virus is,” he said.

“There are a lot of viruses in melons, this is another virus that we have to learn to manage.

“Once we’ve learnt how to do that and the fear has gone out of what this virus does and how it can affect our growing processes and all those things, I think the name of the melon industry in the Territory will be just as strong as it has been.”

Mr Curtis leased a plot of land from the Northern Territory Government to grow melons on this year, but to his “absolute horror” he found the land was already infected with CGMMV.

“It certainly indicated the problem we thought we had under control was not,” he said.

“It put some big question marks as to how it got there and what’s spreading it as [the land is] about 40 kilometres from the infected area on Fox Road and its about 30 kilometres from [the infected area at] Edith Farms.”

However Mr Curtis said he believes the virus can be safely managed and controlled.

“We’ve got to keep the thing in perspective so that we understand that small areas in the Northern Territory are infected, but there’s a lot of other areas that are quite safe to grow melons and deliver them with no virus,” he said.

“We’ve got to make sure we don’t taint the whole Territory.”

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Africa ipm-logo-one

 

 

 

Africa IPM Alliance  The Africa IPM Alliance announces the opening  of its new website: www.africaipmalliance.org

Africa IPM Alliance is a network of organizations, NGOs, FBOs, farmer groups and individuals working to reduce the overuse of hazardous pesticides with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives.

Formerly called Enkasa Organic College the network was founded in 2010 to provide a platform for information dissemination and sharing through training and extension services to ensure effective information flow among relevant networks. It aims at building a network of organizations to further improve the value of integrated pest management and to support those promoting the concept. This will further foster the development and implementation of pest management programs and policies based on a high level knowledge coupled with choices of monitoring tools and control technologies resulting in economically sound, environmentally compatible, sociologically responsible pest management in diverse systems including crop production, urban and natural settings

The organization works in four thematic areas namely: Advocacy/ lobbying, capacity building, information creation and dissemination and networking.

Note: The Africa IPM Alliance is an IAPPS Affiliate Member (www.plantprotection.org) and IAPPS is an Africa IPM Alliance Partner.

For more information on the Africa IPM Alliance contact:  NEHEMIAH MIHINDO at : n.mihindo@africaipmalliance.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hallo Elvis

Its my hope that you are doing fine. Its a while since we communicated. We are doiing fine here in Kenya. I just want to inform you our website is now operational and have put you as one of our partners. please check http://www.africaipmalliance.org.

Its my hope that we shall make joint programs for the benefit of both organizations

I look forward to hearing from you

Thanks

Dr Nehemiah

On Mon, January 5, 2015 03:13, Elvis Heinrichs wrote:
> Thanks, Dr Nehemiah. We are pleased to be given the opportunity to
> work with your Alliance.
>
> Elvis
>
>
> —–Original Message—–
> From: NEHEMIAH MIHINDO [mailto:n.mihindo@africaipmalliance.org]
> Sent: Monday, January 05, 2015 12:50 AM

 

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Farming UK

Received from pestnet@yahoogroups.com

 

Soil and rootsThe soil around roots of plants such as barley – one of our most important crops – is a battleground where only certain bacteria can survive, suggests evidence gathered by a Scottish and German research team.

 

Researchers from the University of Dundee, the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research and the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research used a massive sequencing approach called metagenomics to identify the major groups of bacteria that flourish in and around the roots of barley plants.

Their results suggest that the soil surrounding plant roots is a battleground where only certain bacteria can survive, including ‘friendly’ ones that help plants to extract nutrients from soil.

Interactions between soil, soil microbes and plants form a developing and vitally important area of research as the world looks to solve the problems of managing sustainable agricultural productivity to feed an ever growing global population.

“Despite the complexity of organisms in the soil, only a few bacterial families dominate in and around barley roots, and many soil bacteria are excluded,” said Dr Davide Bulgarelli, Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Fellow in Plant Sciences at the University of Dundee and based at The James Hutton Institute.

“Those groups that do survive are enriched in genes that bacteria use when invading a plant host, when interacting with other microbes, or when defending themselves against viruses, suggesting very active struggles for dominance.

“These new results are an important step towards understanding how we might rationally exploit soil interactions for sustainable intensification of agriculture in the future to ensure food security.”

The results of the study are contained in a manuscript published in the journal Cell Host and Microbe.

Co-author Ruben Garrido-Oter, CEPLAS PhD student from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, said, “Bacterial genes involved in iron mobilisation and sugar transport are also prominent among the groups that survive, hinting at beneficial exchanges of nutrients between plant and microbes.”

The researchers’ hypothesis is that plant-bacterium, bacterium-bacterium and virus-bacterium interactions cooperatively shape the barley microbiota, the microbial population associated with barley roots.

“Several aspects of the plant microbiota remain unknown but our research has uncovered molecular mechanisms which can now be investigated in greater detail,” concluded senior authors Prof Alice McHardy from the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research and Prof Paul Schulze-Lefert from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research.

Useful interactions with soil microbes can bring benefits to crops by increasing yield and protecting them from disease.

Barley is Scotland’s most important crop. The barley genome is in the process of being sequenced by a global consortium led by researchers in Dundee, Germany, Australia and the USA and its availability will provide further opportunities for the Scottish/German group to provide ever greater research possibilities to benefit sustainable crop production.

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Jerusalem Post

 

By SHARON UDASIN 02/22/2015

Nematode wormsNematode worms.. (photo credit:BIOBEE)
Originating in Southeast Asia, the red palm weevil has spread throughout the Mediterranean area as well as other countries such as China, Japan and even the United states, according to Agriculture Ministry data. The larvae of the weevil gnaw into the trunks and crowns of palm trees and cause severe damage – usually leading to the death and collapse of the tree and the destruction of entire orchards or parks.

In Israel, the red palm weevils first presented itself in palm groves north of the Dead Sea in 1999, after which they were controlled through mass trappings and chemical treatments, according to the Agriculture Ministry. Infections have occurred on and off since.

BioBee, a company that engages in “biologically based integrated pest management” – using living organisms to control agricultural pests – has brought in the nematode worms, which are not dangerous in any way to humans or animals, the company said.

The firm stressed that the weevils have become resistant to many of the chemical treatments against them, which can also be toxic to humans or other animals.

As part of the biologically based control method, workers place nematode worms in each of the affected palm trees, and the worms are able to identify the red palm weevil larvae and target them, BioBee said. The nematodes infect the weevils in a parasitic way, causing their death and dying with them as they lose their own food source.

In addition to bringing in the nematodes, BioBee is also making use of traps from Spain that mimic the smell of an infected tree. The weevils are attracted to the smell and enter the trap to drown. This method has proved successful in the Canary Islands, which have also suffered damage from the weevils, the company said.

http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/42-billion-worms-airlifted-from-Germany-to-combat-palm-weevil-crisis-391817

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Scientific American logo

 

 

 

 

Food Matters

By Kelly Izlar | February 4, 2015

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American. Editor’s Note: Kelly Izlar is a Guest Contributor to Food Matters

Tuta absoluta is the scientific name of a moth no bigger than your eyelash. But considering how dastardly the pest can be, it might belong with the other bad guys. T. absoluta has a voracious appetite, and its favorite food is tomatoes. In fact, its alter ego name is “tomato leaf-miner,” because it literally mines through tomatoes, destroying the plant and leaving the fruit pockmarked and inedible. tuta S american

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illustration by Steven White: sketchysteven.tumblr.com.

A female leaf-miner will lay about 260 eggs in a lifetime, which is 30-40 days. The eggs stick to the underside of tomato leaves and stems. After hatching, the larvae will nosh on every part of the plant. When satiated, they drop to the ground, pupate, and start the whole process over again. So what? Insects sometimes eat our vegetables, and it’s unfortunate, but you get over it, right? Maybe that’s true if you only occasionally fancy a slice of heirloom tomato topped with gourmet sea salt. But tomato is one of the most produced and consumed horticultural crops in the world. In West Africa alone, more than 500,000 farmers make their living by growing tomatoes. T. absoluta has been known to reduce crop yields by 80-100% on tomato farms. It attacks at any stage from seedling to sandwich, targeting farms and processing plants alike. Muni Muniappan, the director of the Virginia Tech-led Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Innovation Lab, has made the fight against this invasive pest his personal crusade. He’s traveled to three continents to conduct workshops and consult with growers and politicians about how best to combat this menace. The IPM Innovation Lab, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, is a collaboration of scientists from all over the world who work to find sustainable solutions to agricultural problems in developing countries; and the tomato leaf-miner is a big problem. tuta  map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illustration by Steven White: http://sketchysteven.tumblr.com/

Hailing from South America, this pest hitched a ride across the Atlantic in 2006, showing up first in Spain, and then spreading through most of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. In the past four years, it has crossed the Sahara desert into Senegal. With great speed, the leaf-miner established itself on both sides of the continent, decimating crops in the highlands of Ethiopia and the equatorial plains of Uganda, Kenya, and most recently, Tanzania. Muniappan and other researchers have spent the past few years warning about the impending onslaught, but many smallholder farmers have still been woefully unprepared for Tuta’s appetite. They have been frantically spraying insecticides to stave off the assault, but the pest is developing resistance to popular chemicals in these areas, while populations of beneficial insects are being wiped out. The frequent applications are not so good for humans either. “There’s no silver bullet for Tuta,” Muniappan says. “An invasion is irreversible; we can’t eradicate it. But we can control it, and we need to use every means at our disposal.” Muniappan’s prescription is “integrated pest management” in a nutshell. Instead of focusing on one method of pest management, IPM recommends a combination of common sense practices. If one doesn’t work, all is not lost. And in the case of Tuta absoluta, there are a number of viable steps to combat the hungry moth that don’t involve lathering pesticide over the tomatoes like mayonnaise. In the early stages of invasion, researchers suggest installing sex pheromone traps and using biological and plant-based insecticides. Once the pest has settled into a field, farmers are encouraged to remove and destroy damaged fruit and apply less toxic pesticides more infrequently. But studies show that releasing biological control agents would be the best move. This means using T. absoluta’s own natural enemies against it. Predatory bugs are already being used to fight Tuta in many European countries, and surveys have shown that there are a number of local insects that could be effective against Tuta on the African fronts. These “bioagents” also come without the hefty economic and environmental price tag of high-toxicity pesticides. The first and greatest hurdle is almost always a lack of information. Farmers don’t necessarily know what’s whittling away at their crops and or how to defend themselves against it. “We must establish relationships with locals, share data, and collaborate,” Muniappan says. “It is crucial that we educate growers – they see things first, and they have the most to lose.” Researchers who work with the IPM Innovation Lab and other like-minded programs are stationed throughout the continent, hosting workshops, symposia, and farmer schools to help tomato growers learn to identify the signs and behavior of Tuta absoluta. In most superhero comics, readers can usually distinguish heroes from villains, and good will most likely prevail over evil. But in the real world, ends don’t always justify the means, and there is rarely an unambiguous victory. Tuta absoluta isn’t evil – it’s an insect that reacts naturally to an evolving environment. Climate change, shifting weather systems, global population growth, trade patterns – all of these are uncontrolled variables with unsounded impacts. But the means by which this insect is adapting makes life harder for people who already struggle to meet basic needs. The IPM Innovation Lab and many other scientific and humanitarian programs around the world seek to strike a balance – helping people without hurting the environment. “We’re trying to get the technology to the people who need it the most,” Muniappan says. “We can reduce pesticide use, which makes the environment safer. We can improve health and increase food production. We can make a difference in the lives of poor people in developing countries.” Kelly Izlar About the Author: Kelly Izlar is a science writer and the communications coordinator for the Virginia Tech-led Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab, a USAID-funded program that seeks to raise the standard of living of farmers in developing countries by helping them find sustainable solutions to pest problems.

Follow the program on Twitter@ipmcrsp or visit their website. Follow the author on Twitter @kellyizlar or visit her website. Follow on Twitter@KellyIzlar.

Note: There will be a Tuta absoluta workshop, organized by Dr. Muniappan of the VA Tech IPM Innovation Lab, at the XVIII International Plant Protection Congress in Berlin, 24-27 August 2015 www.ippc2015.de  In addition there will be numerous paper and poster presentations on this emerging and invasive species.

E. A. “Short” Heinrichs

IAPPS Secretary General

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Norton book 1224Norton book 2225Norton book 3

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ipm crsp logo

 

IPM INNOVATION LAB

Feed the Future Lab for Integrated Pest Management

 

 

 

IPM Innovation Lab Call for Concept Notes
Call for Concept Notes:
1. IPM for exportable fruit crops in Vietnam
The USAID Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management at Virginia Tech invites the submission of concept notes from U.S. universities, CGIAR institutions, and host country institutions to compete to lead the IPM for Exportable Fruit Crops in Vietnam. Concept notes will be reviewed and may lead to an invitation to submit a full proposal.
U.S. universities as defined under Section 296(d) of Title XII of the Foreign Assistance Act, CGIAR, and host country institutions are eligible to apply as the lead institution for a period of 4.5 years. Total funding (single award) is $0.8 million. Collaboration or partnerships with relevant and appropriate host country organizations, other universities, the CGIAR system, and/or development community partners is required.
Concept notes for IPM for exportable fruit Crops in Vietnam are due January 30, 2015. For complete information see: http://goo.gl/oJ2kuv

2. Biological control of the invasive weed Parthenium hysterophorus in East Africa
The USAID Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management at Virginia Tech invites the submission of concept notes from U.S. universities, CGIAR institutions, and host country institutions to compete to lead the Biological control of the invasive weed Parthenium hysterophorus in East Africa. Concept notes will be reviewed and may lead to an invitation to submit a full proposal.
U.S. universities as defined under Section 296(d) of Title XII of the Foreign Assistance Act, CGIAR, and host country institutions are eligible to apply as the lead institution for a period of 4.5 years. Total funding (single award) is $0.75 million. Collaboration or partnerships with relevant and appropriate host country organizations, other universities, the CGIAR system, and/or development community partners is required.
Concept notes for Biological control of the invasive weed Parthenium hysterophorus in East Africa are due January 30, 2015.

For complete information see: http://goo.gl/oJ2kuv
The Virginia Tech IPM Innovation Lab is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development under cooperative agreement AID-OOA-L-15-00001.
Copyright © 2014 Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Integrated Pest Management, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Integrated Pest Management
Office of International Research, education, and Development (OIRED)
526 Prices Fork Rd (0378)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

 

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