Diamondback moth conference

World veg center1

Eighth International Conference on Management of the Diamondback Moth and Other Crucifer Insect Pests

The Eighth International Conference on Management of the Diamondback Moth and Other Crucifer Insect Pests will be organized by the World Vegetable Center in association with Cornell University (USA). The workshop will be held March 4-8, 2019 at Shanhua, Tainan, Taiwan. About 100 – 150 researchers worldwide are expected to participate and present research papers. The conference is designed to provide a common forum for the researchers to share their findings in bio-ecology of insect pests, host plant resistance, biological control, pesticides and insect resistant management on crucifer crops. As with previous workshops, a comprehensive publication of the proceedings will be published.

Scientific Sessions

  1. Diamondback moth and other crucifer pests: The Global Challenge in a Changing Climate
  2. Biology, ecology and behavior of diamondback moth and other crucifer pests
  3. Insect plant interactions, host plant resistance and chemical ecology of crucifer pests
  4. Insecticide resistance and its management in crucifer pests
  5. Biological and non-chemical methods of management of crucifer pests (including organic agriculture)
  6. Genetic approaches to manage crucifer pests
  7. At the farm and landscape level: Barriers to and innovations for management of crucifer pests



Call for abstracts / papers: 1 October – 31 December 2018

Instructions for Abstract Submission: Please prepare the abstract using this template and submit it to paola.sotelo@worldveg.org and ariel.wu@worldveg.org


Download Registration Form

Registration: 1 October 2018 – 31 January 2019

Registration Fee:

Individual:                                 USD 750
Students:                                    USD 500
Accompanying Persons:         USD 400 (Not entitled to receive conference material)

Scientific Committee

Dr. SRINIVASAN RAMASAMY World Vegetable Center, Taiwan
E-mail: srini.ramasamy@worldveg.org

Dr. PAOLA SOTELO-CARDONA World Vegetable Center, Taiwan
E-mail: paola.sotelo@worldveg.org

Dr. ANTHONY M. SHELTON Cornell University, USA
E-mail: ams5@cornell.edu

University of Queensland, Australia
E-mail: M.Zalucki@uq.edu.au

University of Queensland, Australia
E-mail: m.furlong@uq.edu.au

E-mail: a.siva@cabi.org

Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China
E-mail: zhenyu_li@163.com; diamondback.moth@gmail.com

Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Germany
E-mail: fberan@ice.mpg.de

Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
E-mail: inga@entomology.de

International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, Kenya
E-mail: ssubramania@icipe.org


logo-feed-the-future 1   USAID logo     VA Tech logo   icipe logoIPM IL Logo

Training Workshop on Indigenous Biological Control Agents of the Fall Armyworm: Techniques in field collection, mass rearing and release

Organizers: icipe in collaboration with the Integrated Pest Management-Innovation Lab, Virginia Tech Date: January 28 to February 1, 2019 Venue: icipe, Nairobi, Kenya

OBJECTIVE The purpose of this workshop is to assess and learn methods in field collection, mass rearing and release of indigenous biological control agents of the fall armyworm including egg and larval parasitoids.

BACKGROUND Fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda (JE Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas and is the key insect pest of maize in tropical regions. The occurrence of FAW was reported in Africa for the first time in late 2016 in West Africa. It has rapidly spread to different parts of the continent and currently its occurrence has been confirmed in over 40 African countries. Given the importance of maize in Africa as a main stable food crop, the recent invasion of FAW threatens food security of millions of people in the region. According to a recent estimate, in SSA, in the next year FAW can cause damage on an estimated 13.5m tons of maize (valued at US$3,058.8m), which accounts for about 20% of the total production in the region. Currently, farmers in Africa are using high doses of insecticides to control FAW; nevertheless, relying on insecticides alone will come with several problems. The potential problems include pest resistance, pest resurgence, environmental pollution and destruction of natural enemies. Long term and sustainable solutions to FAW control should follow an integrated pest management (IPM) approach. IPM includes regular pest monitoring and use of two or more control options in compatible manner. Biological control is one of the components of the IPM approach. In 2018, five different species of larval parasitoids, four belonging to Hymenoptera and one to Diptera were reported from FAW larvae in East Africa. These include: Cotesia icipe, Palexorista zonata, Charops ater, Chelonus curvimaculatus and Coccygidium luteum. Recently, two egg parasitoids, Trichogramma and Telenomus, were identified. Information on the occurrence and rates of parasitism of indigenous natural enemies has a paramount importance in designing biological control of FAW either through conservation of native natural enemies or augmentative release. This training is technical and is designed for national researchers, development agents and technicians to gain practical hands-on experiences in field collection, lab mass rearing and mass release of indigenous biological control agents of the fall armyworm, including egg and larval parasitoids.

Contact: ttefera@icipe.org


SE farm press


Soybean farmers asked to watch for disease new to Southeast

Other states that have reported cases of TRD include Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Missouri with an increasingly northern range.

Dec 05, 2018

Taproot decline is a new disease to Tennessee and other states in the Southeast.

A member of the genus (Xylaria) was first isolated from soybean in Ethiopia in the 1970s , however researchers at that time did not confirm if this fungus was the pathogenic species that is now affecting soybeans across the southeastern US. The first report of taproot decline as a pathogen of soybean was published just last year, with sightings of this disease first occurring in 2007.Other sthttps://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-31/html/container.htmlates that have reported cases of TRD include Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Missouri with an increasingly northern range. A production field in Saulsbury (Hardeman County) was confirmed to have soybeans affected by TRD in August 2017, and two additional research fields in Gibson and Madison counties were confirmed in August 2018.

Foliar symptoms were initially spotted at growth stage R6 (i.e. full seed); these foliar symptoms can easily be confused with those due to other diseases like sudden death syndrome and stem canker, and closer observation is needed for disease identification. Once initial foliar symptoms are observed, additional steps need to be taken in order to accurately diagnose the disease.

If you suspect TRD, follow these steps for diagnosis and contact your local county agent and/or Heather Kelly for confirmation:

  • Check the ground surrounding the symptomatic plant(s) for reproductive structures called stromata (Image 3) that typically grow on last season’s debris: these are branching structures covered in white powdery spores. These could be present or absent on the ground at the base of diseased plants growing out of previous crop debris.
  • Check around symptomatic plant(s) for plants that died prematurely (Image 4), which can be caused by TRD.
  • Pull up the entire plant to view the root mass. Diseased plants will exhibit rotten roots, with the taproot usually breaking off below the soil line, root necrosis throughout the xylem, and the pith may be filled with white mycelium.
  • If you suspect TRD in a soybean field, please send samples to the Plant Pathology Lab at the West Tennessee Research and Education Center (WTREC) for confirmation. We will continue to track the presence of this emerging disease in Tennessee.

Contact Heather Kelly, Plant Pathologist (UT), by email (youngkelly@utk.edu) or phone (731-425-4713) for further information. Samples may be sent to Plant Pathology Lab C, WTREC, 605 Airways Blvd., Jackson, TN 38301.

For pictures of TRD, go to UT Crop Blog.

Source: Rachel Guyer, University of Tennessee Plant Pathology Research Associate.


News in Brief

Sharpshooters can hurl their liquid waste at an acceleration up to 20 times Earth’s gravity

6:00am, December 4, 2018
glassy-winged sharpshooter

BOMBS AWAY  Glassy-winged sharpshooters (one shown) chug plant sap and excrete liquid waste. They send their pee soaring using a catapult-like structure, scientists discovered.

Some sap-sucking insects can “make it rain,” flinging droplets of pee while feeding on plant juices. Now scientists have explained how the insects, known as sharpshooters, create these sprays using tiny catapult-like structures that propel the waste at extreme accelerations.

A tree infested with sharpshooters exudes a steady pitter-patter of pee. “It’s crazy just to look at,” says engineer Saad Bhamla of Georgia Tech in Atlanta. That intriguing process — which can dampen unsuspecting passersby — got Bhamla and colleagues hooked on studying how the insects release their waste.

The researchers took high-speed video of two species — the glassy-winged sharpshooter and the blue-green sharpshooter — feeding and then flinging their pee. Those videos showed that a tiny barb called a stylus at the insect’s rear end acts like a spring. Once a drop collects on this structure, the “spring” releases, and the drop flies off as if hurled from a catapult.

What’s more, tiny hairs at the end of the stylus increase its flinging power, Bhamla and colleagues suggest, much like the sling at the end of certain types of catapults. As a result, the stylus launches liquid waste with a maximum acceleration 20 times that of Earth’s gravity, the scientists report in a video published online in the American Physical Society’s Gallery of Fluid Motion, as part of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics annual meeting held November 18–20 in Atlanta.

It’s not clear why the insects fling their pee. Perhaps the practice allows the creatures to avoid being bathed in a fluid that could attract predators, Bhamla says.

Sharpshooters can do serious damage. The pests slurp hundreds of times their body weight daily and can transmit bacteria that cause diseases in plants. Glassy-winged sharpshooters, for example, have spread beyond their native southeastern United States, sickening plants in California’s vineyards and wreaking havoc in Tahiti by poisoning spiders that eat the insects (SN: 4/8/06, p. 221).

LET ‘ER RIP High-speed video reveals that sharpshooters propel their pee using a catapult-like appendage called a stylus.

E. Challita et al. Insect pee: Ultrafast fluidic ejection from sharpshooters. APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Gallery of Fluid Motion. 71st annual meeting of the APS Division Of Fluid Dynamics, Atlanta, November 18–20, 2018.

Further Reading

S. Milius. Sharpshooter threatens Tahiti by inedibility. Science News. Vol. 169, April 8, 2006, p. 221.

Fighting hunger in West Africa with shrubs

The African shrub Guiera senegalensis (© Marco Schmidt)

Improving food production in drought-prone, insecure areas of West Africa is a major challenge and concern for governments and their respective communities. A new crop management system incorporating the promotion of perennial shrubs may be a key potential solution to such problems.

Native shrubs have persisted throughout the toughest of climates and growing conditions, and by using such plants to our advantage, farmers may be able to improve crop production by more than 900% in some areas. A recent study lead by Richard Dick, published in the journal Frontiers in Environmental Science states that when planting the shrub Guiera senegalensis adjacent to millet, water is shared out between the plants in the soil. Thus improving the productivity of crops growing in drought conditions.

“People in West Africa rely on locally grown crops to survive. Finding ways to increase food production, especially during times of severe drought is critical.” said Richard Dick in ScienceDaily. “As things stand now, the population is continuing to climb, there’s no more land and yields are staying flat.”

Rural farmers in Senegal have been promoting the growth of woody shrubs such as G. senegalensis for hundreds of years. However, in other areas of West Africa, many perceive the plant as a problem and actively uproot and burn them. By taking the historical practices and knowledge from the farmers and communities who have integrated shrub growth into their daily farming practices, Richard and his team have developed a novel crop management system called ‘optimized shrub system’ to take advantage of this natural by-product of shrub development. By dramatically increasing shrub densities across field sites (from 300 shrubs per hectare to 1500 per hectare) the system resulted in dramatic increases in crop yields, improved soil quality and nutrient concentrations, as well as reduced the time to harvest by up to 15 days.

Wild G. Guiera senegalensis in Niger (© Nicolas Barbier)









The cause of this increased water into the soil to reach groundwater, which equips them for survival in arid environments, the water leaks into the surrounding upper levels of the soil which is then used by crops. Leakage of water only occurs at night when the stomata pores in the roots are closed.

“We proved that ‘bio-irrigation’ by these shrubs is happening and it’s the first time this has been shown for crop production,” said Dick. “This is a native plant and it’s free and easy to grow, everything about this is positive.”

The next stage is to continue with pilot testing in fields with the growing systems with farmers throughout the Sahel to make any needed alterations to the methodology to improve the likelihood of successful implementation across Africa. Finding natural solutions to help feed a growing population is becoming increasingly important. In other areas across the world, such as Southeast Asia and South America, farmers are adapting to population growth through the use of fertilizers and pesticides. However, in countries such as Senegal, growers generally do not use such chemicals and do not have the resources to manage land similarly to other parts of the world.

“The ultimate solution is going to be whatever is locally available, and finding these answers and working with the local farmer to consider potential agricultural techniques is paramount,” said Richard Dick.

If you would like to read further on this subject, please see the links below:

$ for huanglongbing research

western farm press

Asian citrus psyllid USDA ARS
The farm bill agreement announced by congressional leaders includes money for Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing research.

Farm bill includes money to prevent HLB

Included in the initial agreement is language providing $25 million per year for 5 years for research specific to the invasive insect Asian citrus psyllid and plant deadly plant disease Huanglongbing (HLB).

Nov 30, 2018

Included in the initial Farm Bill agreement that congressional leaders announced Thursday is language providing $25 million per year for 5 years for research specific to the invasive insect Asian citrus psyllid and plant deadly plant disease Huanglongbing (HLB).

The Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Development Trust Fund will build upon the program created in the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) title in the 2014 Farm Bill which dedicated research funding for citrus.

“The trust fund language is a significant win for U.S. citrus growers,” says California Citrus Mutual President Joel Nelsen. “It’s critical for the future of our industry and the domestic citrus market that we continue to invest in research aimed to find a solution for HLB.”

The Farm Bill funding specific to HLB research compliments the $40 million per year program funded by California citrus growers to stop the spread of HLB which has been detected in over 900 backyard citrus trees in Southern California. In recent years, the state of California has dedicated funds to augment ACP and HLB control efforts in urban areas including the rearing and release of millions of beneficial insects in backyard citrus trees.

Negotiators have also agreed to maintain funding for the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program and the National Clean Plant Network (NCPN). Additionally, funding will continue for the Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC) program which helps growers overcome artificial trade barriers.

“On behalf of the California citrus industry, I want to thank the lead farm bill negotiators in both houses for their commitment to passing a Farm Bill that includes this vital funding for the U.S. citrus industry and specialty crops,” Nelsen says.

Source: California Citrus Mutual

Wild pigs relish pecans

SW FarmPress


boar-buster-trap-drop Noble Research Institute
Pecans offer wild pigs a high caloric, abundant food source.

Wild pigs put pecan production at risk

Crops, including pecans, offer an easily accessible food source to wild pigs.

Nov 30, 2018

Not that agricultural producers need any more problems, but there is a major one that can affect all types of agricultural operations. It has four legs, bad habits, is very intelligent and goes by the common name of — the wild pig.

Agricultural products such as grains, fruits and nut crops often offer an easily accessible food source for wild pigs, which reduces total production amounts. Pecans are a specialty crop readily grown across the southern United States, which is also where some of the highest densities of wild pigs occur.

The research study area was located on the northern edge of the Red River on the Noble Research Institute’s Red River Farm in Love County, Oklahoma. BoarBuster™ suspended traps were used to capture two adult female wild pigs (sows) per sounder (group of pigs). The sows were fitted with GPS tracking collars, which allowed two-way communication for data collection.

Study findings:

  • During pre-harvest of pecan trees, sows stayed in or near the pecan orchards looking for food. Once harvest was done, they moved closer to the Red River.
  • The average home range size (September to January) was 659 acres, which is about 500 football fields.
  • During pecan harvest time in 2016 (October to December), the sows’ average home range size reduced to 564 acres. During the same time frame in 2017, the range size decreased to 350 acres (about 265 football fields).
  • The habitats associated with the Red River, the southern border of the study area, offer ideal habitat and security cover for wild pigs. It acts as a corridor where pigs move up and down the river, allowing other pigs (not collared) to funnel through and use the study area

“Despite what we learned about wild pigs, which we can use to our advantage, there are still many factors that make population control difficult,” Webb said. “There is always something new to learn about these creatures, so we are continuing our efforts into wild pig control and research.”

For the full story on this research, check out the Noble News and Views article. To read more about wild pigs, please visit www.noble.org/news/feral-hogs.