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Africa: Fabulous fungus finds a following.

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Posted: Jun 09, 2015 6:07 AM CST Updated: Jun 09, 2015 6:11 AM CST

BLACKSBURG (Virginia Tech) – A Virginia Tech-led program working in Nepal has switched gears from development work to disaster relief after the recent earthquakes.The agricultural development program provided seed to farmers for fast-growing vegetable crops and distributed plastic sheeting to meet people’s need for shelter. The sheeting can later be used to set up greenhouses.”With the use of fast-growing vegetables such as dwarf beans, pumpkin, radishes, and mustard greens, farmers can quickly get produce that they can then eat or sell, making them less dependent on handouts,” said Muni Muniappan, director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management program. “The work is being carried out by our partner organization, iDE-Nepal, and builds on work that we started.”

Materials distributed since the April 25 earthquake covered 457 households in the Lalitpur and Kavre districts in Nepal’s central region.

On May 12, a team from the Virginia Tech-led project had just completed distributing seed packets in the area when the second earthquake struck. “We had just distributed seeds and conducted a training that morning,” recounted Sulav Paudel, the local Integrated Pest Management coordinator. “I was traveling in a van, and our driver was having a hard time controlling the vehicle. We saw an old house on the side of the road crumble right in front of us. Fortunately no one from the area was hurt.”

The integrated pest management program, which dates to 1993, has been active in Nepal since 2005, helping farmers grow high-value horticultural crops without using synthetic pesticides. The program introduced such environmentally friendly practices as using drip irrigation, Trichoderma (a beneficial fungus), biofertilizers, biopesticides, staking, mulching, and pheromone and soap-based insect traps.

Nepalese women’s farming groups have also benefited, with members selling their vegetable crops and earning 50 to 250 percent more by using new techniques.

Plans for the coming months include helping nurseries in the area produce seedlings for crops that take more time to reach maturity but will produce for longer, such as tomato, chili peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, and cucumber.

“We hope that our contributions in the realm of agriculture can help the resilient Nepalese people quickly return to some semblance of normalcy,” Muniappan said.

The agricultural development program is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and managed by the Office of International Research, Education, and Development.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries

Field Guide

 

Cover of the Field Guide to Pests, Beneficials, Diseases and Disorders of Vegetables in northern Australia

This field guide provides easy and quick access to text and images to assist with the identification of pests and disease symptoms in the field. Correct identification of pests, beneficials, diseases and disorders is important in helping to minimise crop damage and when considering management options. The guide provides descriptions, life cycles and biology, monitoring and pest management.
This field guide is an invaluable resource for primary producers, researchers, extension staff and students. It is available in both English and Vietnamese printed versions or can be downloaded below.
How to get a copy of the Field Guide

1. Download a PDF Version of the Field Guide
English Print version PDF – 14.8MB | Online version PDF – 90.1 MB
Vietnamese PDF 6.7MB
2. Request a printed version
tel: 08 8999 2258 or email haidee.brown@nt.gov.au
About the Field Guide

This publication is the first comprehensive field guide to pests, beneficials, diseases and disorders of commercially grown vegetables in the Northern Territory. The information has been derived from more than 20 years research and extension experience with commercial vegetable crops by staff of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Horticulture, within the Plant Industries Group, Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries. The vegetable field guide is a useful resource for primary producers, researchers, extension staff and students.
The format of the book has been designed to provide easy and quick access to assist in the recognition of pests, diseases or symptoms in the field. Each opening includes text on the left page and photographs on the right page. The tabs along the right edge are labelled and colour-coded, making it easier to navigate.
Due to regular updates and changes in the recommendations of pesticides, specific products have not been listed. However, growers are encouraged to contact Department staff if they require assistance with pest or disease management.
Information regarding pesticide registrations is available from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) website.
A comprehensive Agvet chemical database is available free online from Infopest which is owned and managed by Growcom.
Monitoring and Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Growers are encouraged to use this guide as a resource to assist in the identification of pests and their natural enemies as well as diseases and disorders when monitoring vegetable crops. Correct identification of pests and diseases is important when considering management options. Integrated pest management (IPM) is the management of pest populations using all relevant control practices in a complementary manner, so that the pest will be maintained below the economic injury level and adverse effects to the environment will be minimal. When diseases are incorporated, IPM is referred to as integrated pest and disease management (IPDM).
The majority of vegetables are grown over the ‘dry season’ (May to September) and many pests and diseases are suited to the dry and warm conditions with mean temperatures in the range of 15-36°C (for the Darwin area). The ‘build-up’ to the wet season starts in September and higher temperatures and humidity is generally experienced. Most of the rainfall occurs in the ‘wet season’ between October to April.
This guide provides descriptions, life cycles and biology along with colour photographs to help recognise and distinguish pests from beneficials (which includes natural enemies that attack pests as well as pollinators). Since beneficials help regulate the levels of pests, it is important to monitor pest numbers to assess the level of natural control by predators or parasites before considering other pest management options. Regular monitoring of the crop will assist in the detection of pests and diseases, as well as providing an indication of the change in populations or spread of symptoms.
Departmental contact information

Entomology (pests and beneficials)
Telephone: 08 8999 2258
Email: insectinfo@nt.gov.au
Plant Pathology (plant diseases and disorders)
Telephone: 08 8999 2265
Email: plant.pathology@nt.gov.au
Horticulture (growing advice)
Telephone: 08 8999 2222
Email: horticulture@nt.gov.au

http://www.nt.gov.au/d/Primary_Industry/index.cfm?header=Vegetable%20Field%20Guide

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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.

6373242-3x2-940x627

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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