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Public Release: 6-Feb-2017

Help for national programs supporting smallholder farmers

International Potato Center / Centro Internacional de la Papa

“African communities are highly dependent on agriculture, which is vulnerable to unpredictable changes in climatic conditions,” said Dr. Jürgen Kroschel, CIP’s Agroecology and Integrated Pest Management science leader. “Any increase in temperature caused by climate change will have drastic effects on pest invasions and outbreaks affecting pest management, crop production and food security.”

Climate change will exacerbate existing vulnerabilities of resource-constrained farmers who depend on agriculture for a living. CIP launched the Pest Risk Atlas for Africa to benefit researchers and extension workers involved in pest risk analysis and pest management. Ultimately, this information will create better awareness of current and future pest risks under climate change and promote the inclusion of pest risk adaptation plans at country level. Consequently, it may lead to the adaptation of sustainable pest control methods that are not overly dependent on pesticides and therefore are best suited for farmers in Africa to improve their food security and daily lives under future climates.

In its global pest management research efforts, CIP’s Agroecology and Integrated Pest Management program developed a scientific framework based on advanced pest phenology modeling and Geographic Information System risk mapping to better understand future pest risks on global, regional, and local scales and to use this information for adaptation planning.

The Pest Risk Atlas for Africa provides detailed information for pest risk analysis including:

  • Detection and identification, morphology, and biology with an emphasis on temperature-dependent development
  • Means of movement and dispersal, economic impact, geographical distribution, and phytosanitary risks
  • Risk mapping under current and future climates: global risk and regional risks for Africa with individual country risk maps
  • Phytosanitary measures and adaptation to risk avoidance at farm level.

On average, 30-50% of the yield losses in agricultural crops are caused by pests, despite the application of pesticides to control them. Climate, especially temperature, has a strong and direct influence on the development and growth of insect pest populations. A rise in temperature due to climate change may both increase or decrease pest development rates. Hence, an increase in temperature can potentially affect range expansion and outbreaks of many insect pests. Therefore, if adequate integrated pest management (IPM) strategies are not developed and made available to farmers, greater losses in crop yield and quality could ultimately result.

Natural enemies play an important role in managing pests and are often used in classical biocontrol programs to manage invasive non-indigenous pests. It is important to better understand how climate change will affect this trophic level and how crop management can build and rely on biocontrol strategies. The Pest Atlas for Africa includes important data and mapping information to better use this powerful pest management option.


The Pest Risk Atlas for Africa is now available online at http://cipotato.org/riskatlasforafrica/and will be periodically updated and enriched with new pest chapters. All individual pest and biocontrol agent chapters can be downloaded for free. It also contains interactivity that allows users to zoom into maps, and do quick searches for specific information.

The International Potato Center, known by its Spanish acronym CIP, was founded in 1971 as a root and tuber research-for-development institution delivering sustainable solutions to the pressing world problems of hunger, poverty, and the degradation of natural resources. CIP is truly a global center, with headquarters in Lima, Peru and offices in 20 developing countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Working closely with our partners, CIP seeks to achieve food security, increased well-being, and gender equity for poor people in the developing world. CIP furthers its mission through rigorous research, innovation in science and technology, and capacity strengthening regarding root and tuber farming and food systems.

CIP is part of the CGIAR Systems Organization, a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for a food secure future. CGIAR research is dedicated to reducing rural poverty, increasing food security, improving human health and nutrition, and ensuring more sustainable management of natural resources. Donors include individual countries, major foundations, and international entities.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

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By Lisa Cornish. Reblogged from DEVEX. As climate change impacts the global ability to grow food, both in quality and quantity, researchers in agriculture have become an important asset for establishing long-term food security as the world’s population continues to increase. In December, agriculture and food security researchers visited Canberra for high-level discussions on development […]

via Agriculture and food security — where are we headed in 2017? — The Plantwise Blog

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Researchers Discover Off-Switch to CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Editing System

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco have found a way to switch off the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system using newly identified anti-CRISPR proteins that are produced by bacterial viruses. The newly discovered anti-CRISPR proteins could enable more precise control in CRISPR applications, but also provide a fail-safe to quickly block any potentially harmful uses of the technology.

To find an anti-CRISPR protein that would work against the CRISPR-Cas9 system used in most labs which depends on a protein called SpyCas9 as its targeted DNA clippers, the researchers thought that they should be able to identify bacteria with inactivated CRISPR systems. This can be conducted by looking for evidence of so-called “self-targeting” – bacterial strains where some virus had successfully gotten through the Cas9 blockade and inserted its genes into the bacterial genome.

The research team examined nearly 300 strains of Listeria, and found that 3 percent of strains exhibited “self-targeting.” Further investigation isolated four distinct anti-CRISPR proteins that proved capable of blocking the activity of the Listeria Cas9 protein, which is very similar to SpyCas9.

Further research showed that two of the four anti-CRISPR proteins, called AcrIIA2 and AcrIIA4 by the researchers, worked to inhibit the ability of the commonly used SpyCas9 to target specific genes in other bacteria, as well as in engineered human cells. Together, the results suggest that AcrIIA proteins are potent inhibitors of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system as it has been adopted in labs around the world.

For more details, read the news release from UC San Francisco.

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Symposium organizers and speakers.

The Feed the Future Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab (IPM IL) conducted a symposium on the South American tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta at the International conference on Biodiversity, Climate Change Assessment and Impacts on Livelihood held in Kathmandu, Nepal, January 10-12, 2017.

The symposium had presentations of participants from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and the U.S.

Dr. R. Muniappan, Director, IPM Innovation Lab, Virginia Tech presented a brief review of Tuta absoluta and the 16 awareness and management workshops conducted for participants from 50 countries. Dr. Shahadath Hossain, Entomologist, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute talked about monitoring of the spread of Tuta absoluta in Bangladesh. Mr. Lalit Sah, International Development Enterprises (iDE) described the distribution and management of Tuta absoluta in Nepal. Dr. V. Sridhar, Indian Institute of Horticultural Research discussed the occurrence of Tuta absoluta in India and the use of the CLIMEX model for identifying its spread. The next presentation by Dr. Srinivasan Venkataramanan, Biocomplexity Institute, Virginia Tech, discussed the development of hybrid models including ecology and human movement in the spread of Tuta absoluta. Participants of the symposium discussed on the possibility of developing a regional project including Bangladesh, India and Nepal for the management of Tuta absoluta.

For further information contact: rmuni@vt.edu


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Zimbabwe is currently facing a devastating outbreak of Chilo worm, a species of moth, which is threatening the 2016/17 summer cropping season. The exact species is yet to be confirmed and is also being referred to as the fall army worm.

via Chilo worm outbreak threatening crops in Zimbabwe — The Plantwise Blog

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Assessment from multiple perspectives is important for measuring journal performance. We listened to your feedback and are happy to present to you CiteScore.

This new journal metric, powered by Scopus data, measures the average number of citations per document.

Comprehensive, Transparent, Current & Free

  • CiteScore is comprehensive as it is available for all 22,500 indexed Scopus sources
  • Transparent because each CiteScore number is easily replicable
  • Current because new titles will have a CiteScore the year after they are indexed in Scopus
  • Yes, it is free: no charges to access CiteScore metrics

Crop Protection has a CiteScore of 1.92 and a CiteScore Percentile of 82.

Crop Protection is ranked #51 out of 291 similar journals

Are you interested in how this CiteScore and the CiteScore percentile were compiled and calculated?

See metrics

To compare Crop Protection with 291 journals see:


Please note that IAPPS membership includes 10 issues annually of the online version of Crop Protection. To join IAPPS go to: www.plantprotection.org

For more information send  a message to: eheinrichs2@unl.edu

E. A. Heinrichs

Secretary General, IAPPS

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by Lydia Mulvany

@lydiamulvanyMore stories by Lydia Mulvany

‎December‎ ‎5‎, ‎2016‎ ‎8‎:‎00‎ ‎AM

  •  Microbial seed treatment can boost crop yields for corn
  • Technology developed with Novozymes to be available in 2017


Corn plants grow in a greenhouse at the Monsanto Chesterfield Village facility.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Monsanto Co., a lightning rod for critics of modern agricultural techniques, is introducing a new feature next year for its genetically modified corn seeds that it says will not only boost yields but cut down on fertilizer use and carbon-dioxide emissions.

The seed giant, together with Danish company Novozymes A/S, has developed a coating for seeds made from a friendly fungus that helps corn plants in their earliest growth stages.

St. Louis-based Monsanto, which earlier this year agreed to be acquired by Germany’s Bayer AG, is hailing the product as a breakthrough for microbial technology, in which scientists look to fungi and other organisms such as bacteria to help farmers.

For more on the GMO debate, Monsanto and Bayer, click here.

Corn crops treated with the new Monsanto-Novozymes microbial — officially known as Acceleron B-300 SAT — had better yields than those without the treatment, the companies said in a statement Monday. The product stays on seeds longer and is compatible with other chemical treatments, unlike previous versions. It could be applied to more than 90 million acres (36 million hectares) by 2025.

The seed treatment could “become one of the biggest biological products in the ag industry,” said Colin Bletsky, vice president for Novozymes’ BioAg unit. “Harnessing the power of nature’s microbes, farmers will be able to produce more crops.”

Farmers have been using synthetic chemical treatments for seeds for decades to protect plants from pests as they take root, and it’s a mature industry, Monsanto spokesman John Combest said by phone. Microbial seed treatments, in contrast, are niche products that have only boomed in the past decade, he said. The agricultural microbial market currently has about $1.8 billion in sales, while traditional chemicals and pesticides is a market valued at about $240 billion, Combest said.

The new microbial coating, derived from a fungus called Penicillium bilaiae, works by growing along the roots of plants and helping them to access nitrogen and phosphorus in the soil. In trials, crops using the microbial boosted yields by more than 3 bushels an acre on average, according to the release.

The spores will stay on the seeds for two years. That compares with 120 days for the previous version of the product, called JumpStart, which has meant farmers face a time limit on planting the treated seeds.

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