Archive for the ‘Pest diagnostics’ Category

Delta Farm Press

Simplify identification in the field

A new mobile-friendly field guide will help farmers quickly diagnose soybean diseases, like Septoria brown spot (shown in image), in their fields. It can be found at guide.utcrops.com.

Photo: University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture.


The University of Tennessee Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology has released a mobile-friendly disease field guide that will help growers, agents and consultants quickly assess foliar diseases in their soybean fields. This new resource can be found at http://www.guide.utcrops.com.

The guide features general information on all foliar diseases that pose an economic threat to Tennessee’s soybean crop.

Proper identification is made easier through video instruction and a comprehensive photo gallery. These features allow users to easily compare what they are seeing on the screen with what they are seeing in the field.

Once the problem is identified, users can view management options for each disease, including information on variety selection, fungicide efficacy and resistance.

Heather Kelly, assistant professor with UT’s Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, designed the new guide. Her goal was to create an informative site that would look great and function well on the devices most growers are using — smartphones.

“This guide should make it easier for producers to quickly identify diseases and make management decisions,” says Kelly, “and since it’s mobile friendly, it will also be user-friendly when producers access it in the field.”

While the guide currently features only soybean disease information, Kelly says the site will eventually include information and identification tools for diseases that affect other row crops. She adds that the mobile friendly guide can also be easily viewed on a laptop or desktop computer.

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From Pestnet@yahoogroups.com

Three resources on line for weed identification. All from the US. This is taken from “Help with weed identification” http://www.whav.net/cms/help-with-weed-identification/

Start with University Weed Identification sites such as those at Michigan State University (http://www.msuturfweeds.net/id-tool/broadleaf/), The University of Missouri (http://weedid.missouri.edu) and New Mexico State University (http://weeds.nmsu.edu/weedid.php).


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Rural banner_background-data

Drones could be the answer to early disease detection in banana crops

 Updated 18 Jul 2016, 12:10am

A researcher is looking into the possibility of using remote sensing to detect diseases in banana crops.

University of New England PhD candidate Aaron Aeberli said different sensor systems could be attached to satellites or drones.

“Remote sensing records the interaction of different objects to different levels of electromagnetic radiation systems,” he said.

Mr Aeberli said the technology was already being used in other crops such as sugar cane, wheat, cotton and peanuts.

“A lot of the broadfield cropping systems have used them overseas to find out yield and other predictions like that,” he said.

“There’s potential to find out the health of the different plants, and if we can work on it enough, the potential to detect disease occurrence.”

Diseases could be detected early through the application of thermal imaging.

“It uses a different part of the spectrum to monitor the warmth or heat of the object, and a lot of plants, their function is impaired by disease, particularly the heat or thermal regulation,” Mr Aeberli said.

“There is potential to notice changes in the leaf temperature if the plant is no longer able to function normally.

“Some of the bigger crops like wheat, they use it a fair amount and it does save them time. It can help with production and management systems.”

Technology to be trialled in Queensland

Mr Aeberli is hoping to develop the technology further for the banana industry.


He is collaborating with the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and Horticulture Innovation Australia on upcoming trials in far north Queensland.

“We’re looking to take some satellite imagery and we’ll go into the field and try and evaluate this satellite imagery, so that the field conditions reflect what we’ve been taking from the satellites,” he said.

“We’re also looking at the use of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) for a similar system.”

There could be potential for banana growers to one day monitor the health of their own crops by drones.

“It’s early days so we need to work out what systems work,” Mr Aeberli said.

“I wouldn’t necessarily go out and tell everyone to buy a drone at this point in time, but once a valid system that works has been set up, there’s potential for that.”

Topics: bananas, agricultural-crops, murwillumbah-2484, cairns-4870, bundaberg-4670, coffs-harbour-2450

First posted 17 Jul 2016, 8:58pm

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SAO JOSE DOS CAMPOS, Brazil (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Despite years of experience, Charlei Sousa finds himself struggling to grow maize. A lack of rain took half his last crop, and he says uneven rainfall has for years become a worsening problem in his fields in Montes Claros.

“We don’t know anymore how and when to grow,” said Sousa, a family farmer who plants about 30 hectares (74 acres) of maize in the north of Minas Gerais state, which lies within a semi-arid region of Brazil.

Changes in weather patterns linked to climate change are challenging the traditional knowledge of family farmers in Brazil, particularly those in traditionally dry areas of nine northern states, where land is used mainly to grow subsistence amounts of maize, rice, beans and cassava.

But help may be on the way. This season, Sousa will take a new ally to the field with him: a smartphone app. Used as a sort of in-field diary, it will record what is planted and when, how much fertilizer is used, geographical data about the field, photos and other details.

A few hundreds kilometers away, in São José dos Campos, in São Paulo state, scientists receive the data in real time. The information produced by Sousa and other family farmers will feed a new system designed to monitor the risk of crop failure in Brazilian semi-arid areas.

“There is no such monitoring being done in real time, with information coming directly from the producer,” said Ana Paula Cunha, a researcher at National Center for Monitoring and Early Warning of Natural Disasters (Cemaden).

The center, together with Applied Systems Analysis and the National Institute of Science and Technology, developed the app called Agrisupport.

With the help of farmers, scientists at Cemaden say they will be able to predict up to two months in advance whether the semi-arid region faces a risk of crop failure.

Alongside the information from farmers, researchers will rely on measurements of humidity, temperature, wind and solar radiation coming from monitoring equipment installed in nine states.

Those will be fed into mathematical models that researchers run on the institute’s computers, and turned into forecasts for farmers and others in Brazil.

“We want to provide information about the crop productivity loss for all municipalities of the semi-arid region,” said Regina Alvalá, a coordinator at Cemaden. The first report is expected to be available by the end of 2016.


The forecasts are expected to be particularly important for the federal government. Since 2003, Brasilia has offered financial compensation for family farmers from semi-arid regions who lose at least 50 percent of their crop. This type of insurance is known as “crop-guarantee”.

“For the decision maker, information on the risk of crop failure is vital because it is possible to have a better view of how much will be paid for insurance,” Alvalá said.

“But the information is also relevant to the producer,” she said. “For example, if a farmer wants to extend the planted area but the forecast shows the weather conditions won´t be good enough for the type of crop raised, the farmer can save the seeds.”

According to government data, around 63,000 family farmers applied for crop-guarantee insurance payouts last year. The government provides 850 Brazilian reais (around $215) per producer, paid in five installments. But many farmers complain the amount is too low and doesn’t cover their costs.

Access to the Agrisupport app could be another way of cutting farmer losses in dry areas. Reinaldo Oliveira, an agronomist at Technical Assistance and Rural Extension (Emater), a state agency, is working directly with farmers to help them use the tool.

“The mobile phone is already used by family farmers on a daily basis. But to send information through the app it’s also important to have a good internet connection, which is not always possible in some regions,” he said.

Still, farmers able to send through a photo of a crop pest, for instance, can get feedback on what do about it in as little as a few minutes, Oliveira said.

Sousa has already tested the app. Besides providing information about what he’s planning to grow and how much of it, he will also report on his harvest and receive advice on how to take better care of his crop.

“I think this application will help small farmers to organize themselves better. We shall know in advance which is the best time to start planting. This information can help us to save money,” Sousa said.

(Reporting by Nadia Pontes; editing by Laurie Goering :; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, climate change, women’s rights, trafficking and property rights. Visit news.trust.org/climate)

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Global Plant Protection News Followers:

Please note the wealth of CABI Plant Protection content available on the Plantwise Knowledge Bank: http://www.plantwise.org/KnowledgeBank/Home.aspx

Subjects: Pest identification/ Pest distribution/Fact sheets/Pest alerts/Plant Health News/Plantwise Blog

E.A. Heinrichs /IAPPS Secretary General





Plant clinics

Plantwise provides training to local people so they can set up plant clinics in their region. These clinics operate on a regular basis, in easy-to-access places, and allow farmers to bring in samples of their crop problems for diagnosis and advice.The Plantwise Diagnostic Field Guide has been developed to support this.

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scarab id

Hawaiian Scarab ID: Scarab and Stag Beetles of Hawaii and the Pacific

ITP collaborator: Wichita State University

Authors: Joshua B. Dunlap, Mary Liz Jameson, Emmy L. Engasser, Paul E. Skelley, and Amanda J. Redford

USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Identification Technology Program (ITP) is pleased to announce the release of Hawaiian Scarab ID: Scarab and Stag Beetles of Hawaii and the Pacific. This tool allows easy identification of adult and immature life stages of established pest species and potential new invasive scarab species for islands in the Pacific, particularly Hawaii and Guam.

This web-based tool is designed for people with varying degrees of knowledge, from outdoor enthusiasts to research scientists. Hawaiian Scarab ID features a variety of resources to help users identify scarabs, including an illustrated interactive key, detailed fact sheets, a sortable image gallery, behavior videos, an illustrated anatomy guide, and more! Several species can also be identified with DNA barcode data, with more to come. A mobile app version of the key will be released this spring.

Please find the attached PDF announcement to see an overview of ITP’s newest identification tool for PPQ and its partners. Please also feel free to forward this email or the attachment to your colleagues.

 Hawaiian Scarab ID: Scarab and Stag Beetles of Hawaii and the Pacific can be accessed at: http://idtools.org/id/beetles/scarab/.

 Visit http://idtools.org to view other ITP tools.

 Visit the Google Play Store or the App Store to view ITP’s Lucid Mobile apps for Android and iOS.

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PiercesDiseasePierce’s disease on grape


Newly identified enzyme may be the culprit in Pierce’s disease grapevine damage
January 12, 2016

Printable version


An enzyme appears to enable Xyllela fastidiosa bacteria to infect grapevines with Pierce’s disease, causing serious leaf damage. UC Davis plant scientists have identified an enzyme that appears to play a key role in the insect-transmitted bacterial infection of grapevines with Pierce’s disease, which annually costs California’s grape and wine industries more than $100 million.
The researchers hope that the discovery, which runs counter to existing theories, will lead to new diagnostics and potential treatments for Pierce’s disease. Their findings are reported in Scientific Reports, an online journal of the Nature Publishing Group.
“With a bacterial disease — much like cancer — if you understand how the virulent form spreads, you can better control or remove it, ” said Abhaya Dandekar, a professor of plant sciences and senior author on the study.
“We anticipate that this discovery could open new ways to think about dealing with Pierce’s disease and highlight other areas of immune response, in general, that haven’t yet been considered,” he said.
About Pierce’s disease
Pierce’s disease, first identified in the 1890s, is caused by the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa and is characterized by yellowed and browning leaves that eventually drop from the vine. The disease is transmitted from vine to vine by small, winged insects called sharpshooters.
Pierce’s disease is established in Northern California, where it is transmitted by the blue-green sharpshooter, which lives near rivers and streams. The disease became a serious threat to California agriculture in 1996 when the glassywinged sharpshooter — another Pierce’s disease carrier native to the Southwest — was discovered in the Temecula Valley of Southern California.
How infection progresses
It’s been known for a number of years that when Xyllela fastidiosa invades a grapevine, it produces a biofilm or gel in the xylem — the vascular tissue that transports water and some nutrients throughout the vine.
Scientists have theorized that this biofilm damages the vine by clogging up the xylem, preventing the flow of water to the leaves. That theory seemed to explain the yellowing of the leaf edges and eventual death of the leaf tissue.
But not all of the evidence stacked up to fit that theory, Dandekar said. For example a heavy accumulation of Xyllela fastidiosa in grapevine leaves was not always accompanied by severe disease symptoms in leaves. And, in some infected grapevines as well as other host plants, the leaves showed severe symptoms but the xylem had very little blockage.
So Dandekar and colleagues set out to investigate an alternative mechanism by which Xyllela fastidiosa might be wreaking havoc with the vine’s physiology.
Secrets of the “secretome”
The research team began by analyzing the bacteria’s secretome — the entire collection of enzymes and other proteins secreted by a disease-causing agent like Xyllela fastidiosa during the infection process. Such secreted proteins are known to play key roles in triggering many plant diseases.
The resulting data indicated that an enzyme, which the researchers named LesA, was quite abundant during Xyllela fastidiosa infections and shared characteristics with similar enzymes known to be capable of breaking down plant cell walls.
The researchers went on to confirm their suspicions by demonstrating that a mutant strain of Xyllela fastidiosa bacteria — with a specific gene knocked out, or inactivated — lacked the ability to cause infection in grapevines.
“The LesA enzyme has the ability to move through cell membranes, equipping the Xyllela fastidiosa bacteria to invade the grapevine and to live in its xylem tissues, where it feeds on fatlike compounds called lipids,” Dandekar says.
In this way, the LesA enzyme triggers the process that causes the typical Pierce’s disease leaf damage — a process completely unrelated to the xylem blockage and water stress that had previously been thought to cause the symptomatic leaf damage.
The research for the newly published study was conducted by Rafael Nascimento and Hossein Gouran, both graduate students in Dandekar’s laboratory. Dandekar said that his research team plans to move forward with Pierce’s disease research in hopes of developing ways to counteract the disease.

Funding for the newly published study was provided by the Pierce’s Disease Board of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Additional information:
• Related: Fused genes tackle deadly Pierce’s disease in grapevines
• Related: UC Davis cracks the walnut genome
• Related: Springtime for wheat starts with a gene that ‘sees’ light
Media contact(s):
• Abhaya Dandekar, Plant Sciences, (530) 752-7784, amdandekar@ucdavis.edu
• Pat Bailey, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-9843, pjbailey@ucdavis.edu

Provided by:

Grahame Jackson
24 Alt street
Queens Park
NSW 2022

Phone: +612 9387 8030
Mobile: +61 412 994 206
Skype: gvhjackson


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