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Fightback starts against fall armyworm

Published Yesterday at 09:35 AM

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities
The Honourable Mark Furner

The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) has received approval to import a biopesticide for research purposes, marking a significant step in the fight to combat fall armyworm (FAW).

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) approval to import Fawligen® meant the Queensland Government could start working on management packages for impacted industries.

“Since the initial detection of FAW in Australia in January 2020, DAF has worked closely with industry to find ways to address the threat posed by this voracious invasive pest to Queensland’s agriculture industry,” Mr Furner said.

“Fawligen® is a biopesticide targeting the FAW caterpillar which ingests virus particles, becomes infected and dies, spreading the virus to other FAW larvae in the crop.

“DAF first applied in March 2020 to bring Fawligen®, which is produced in the US by Australian company AgBiTech, into Australia.

“Getting DAWE’s approval to import Fawligen®, a naturally occurring caterpillar virus which targets FAW, is a key step forward as it has the potential to be a game changer for producers.”

Mr Furner said having access to Fawligen® would allow DAF researchers to immediately commence small scale work with AgBiTech to assess its performance on FAW populations, under local conditions and in various crops. 

“This will generate information for an Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Authority (APVMA) regulatory submission,” Mr Furner said.

“Natural biological control agents, like Fawligen®, reduce grower reliance on conventional insecticides for FAW control, reducing the risk of insecticide resistance development.

“Another significant advantage of this biopesticide is that it only kills the FAW and is non-toxic to beneficial organisms including honeybees and beneficial natural enemies such as spiders, wasps and ladybeetles.”

AgBiTech’s General Manager for Australia, Philip Armytage, said in response to the spread and rise of FAW as a global pest, in 2015 AgBiTech established a production facility in the US to manufacture Fawligen® for Brazil and other global markets.

“At the time, Fawligen® could not be produced in Australia as the FAW was not present,” Mr Armytage said.

“Globally, Fawligen® is AgBiTech’s biggest product by volume, and we are excited to be able to bring our technology back home to Australia for our farmers.

“We will accelerate the project, working closely with DAF and use all our international experience to support the commencement of the registration work as soon as possible.”

Mr Furner said DAF had a long history of working closely with AgBiTech in supporting the development of the Helicoverpa biocontrol ViVUS Max® in the early 2000s. 

“Australia is the global leader in the use of native and introduced biocontrol agents,” he said.

“We have seen excellent results in the control of similar caterpillar pests such as Helicoverpa as well as with silverleaf whitefly and prickly pear.

“In the meantime, growers should remain vigilant for the presence of FAW and check for the latest insecticide permits applying to fall armyworm using the APVMA’s permit portal.”

The latest advice about the impacts and management of fall armyworm on key crops can be found on the fall armyworm web page at business.qld.gov.au/fallarmyworm.

ENDS

Minister Furner media contact:                   Ron Goodman            0427 781 920

AgBiTech / Fawligen media contact:         Philip Armytage          0488 263585

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Spotted lanternfly is an incredibly good hitchhiker

TAGS: INSECTSORCHARD CROPSINSECTICIDECROPSarlutz73 / iStock / Getty Images Plusspotted-lanternfly-GettyImages-1054495206.jpgA key Concern is the wide host range of the spotted lanternfly. Be on the lookout for the spotted lantern fly and let NCDACS know if you see it.

John Hart | Jan 05, 2021https://66aab2f6763b501391485cbd0d058ae2.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

The spotted lanternfly is the newest invasive pest that has entomologists across the country worried.

In a talk to the virtual North Carolina Crop Protection School, Whitney Swink, state regulatory entomologist with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, gave the rundown on the spotted lanternfly and urged farmers and others to be on the lookout for the pest and let NCDACS know if they see it.https://66aab2f6763b501391485cbd0d058ae2.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

Swink said like many invasive pests, the spotted lanternfly is native to Asia, specifically northern China, Vietnam and Bangladesh. It was first introduced into Korea in 2004 and became a major pest there on peaches and grapevines among other plants.

It was found in Pennsylvania in 2014 and there are known infestations in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and West Virginia.

Swink said a key concern is the wide host range of the spotted lanternfly. The insect is a pest of apples, blueberries, cherries, grapes, hops, maples, all stone fruits, walnuts and willows. More than 75 species of woody plants have been identified as hosts; Swink said the list continues to grow.

“We recently found out that chinaberry is a host. That is a big concern to us because we have a lot of that, especially in eastern North Carolina,” Swink said.

Another concern is that Tree of Heaven, which is found all over North Carolina, especially west of I-95, is the favorite food of the spotted lanternfly. “It will choose Tree of Heaven over pretty much anything else,” Swink warned.

Swink said the spotted lanternfly has been spotted in Tree of Heaven in eastern North Carolina, but it is still too early to know how active the pest has been in the state. However, she encouraged everyone to be on the lookout for the insect.

The adult spotted lanternfly is quite large, about an inch from head to wingtip. “Because they are plant hoppers, they are very poor flyers. They more glide than fly. They are quite prolific and active from mid- to later-summer through the winter. Here in North Carolina they can possibly be found even into December,” Swink said.

The forewing of the spotted lanternfly is grey with black spots and the wings tips are reticulated black blocks outlined in grey. The hind wings have contrasting patches of red and black with a white band. The legs and head are black; the abdomen is yellow with broad black bands.

“In all of the life stages —eggs, instars and adults —spotted lanternflies are incredibly good hitchhikers. They can cling to pretty much any surface. They can cling to vehicles on roads travelling 65 mph or more,” she said.

“One of the key things that spotted lanternflies do is they produce copious, copious amounts of honeydew. Essentially, they are pooping sugar water. With one insect doing that, it’s not a big deal, but if you start exponentially increasing how many are doing this, you have a problem,” she explained.RELATEDControlling herbicide resistance takes persuadingJanuary 4, 2021Battle against pesticide opponents becoming more pronouncedDecember 22, 2020Building respect and value for soybeansNovember 24, 2020

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Cedar fight goes across fence and state lines

TAGS: CONSERVATIONLIVESTOCKCurt ArensA few members of the Bristow, Neb. area crew pose in front of the trucks they purchased to help on prescribed burnsCRUCIAL CREW: A few members of the Bristow, Neb., area crew pose in front of the trucks they bought to help on prescribed burns. Over the past eight years, this group has burned more than 30,000 acres in their fight to reclaim grasslands from invasive eastern red cedar.Working together has been a successful formula for Nebraska and South Dakota advocates of prescribed fire.

Curt Arens | Dec 23, 2020

Gathering landowners to work together on prescribed burn projects has been a winning model in the successful defeat of eastern red cedar encroachment on grazing lands. Normally, prescribed burn associations work across fence lines with neighboring landowners.

Over the past decade, eastern members of the Niobrara Valley Prescribed Fire Association, covering much of north-central Nebraska, have not only reached across fence lines, but also state lines into neighboring South Dakota, to beat the invasion of ERC.

Related: New strategy in battle against invasive cedars

It started in 2010 when Jerald Dennis, Bristow, Neb., sheared ERC trees in a large portion of family-owned grasslands on the south shore of Lake Francis Case in South Dakota, behind Fort Randall Dam. He piled the dead cedar trees for curing. In 2011, Dennis deferred grazing on the tract, to grow fuel for the prescribed burn he was planning the following spring.

“It took an entire year to plan the burn, coordinating between five landowners, four government agencies along with local law enforcement and fire departments,” Dennis explains. On that burn with Dennis, Dave Steffen from Gregory, S.D., and other interested landowners in the area watched as observers.

Dennis has worked at Nebraska State Bank in Bristow for nearly 40 years. Most of that time, he has also served on the Bristow Fire Department. His family owns about 2,000 acres of pasture in both states, so he’s been involved in prescribed burning for the past 13 years. The Prescribed Fire Association that Dennis works with has conducted burns on just over 30,000 acres since 2012.

They normally develop their burn schedule at a meeting each February, so 10 to 12 people can plan to be involved with each burn. The local members of the association bought two Army surplus pickup trucks to transport skid water pumping units with 250-gallon tanks, hoses and a reel they borrow from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

The burn near Fort Randall encompassed 3,145 acres. “We had a well-seasoned crew of 12 from Nebraska working that burn,” Dennis says. “It also helped that we had Lake Francis Case to the north and a highway to the south.”

Steffen watched the Nebraska crew and became interested in conducting more prescribed burns locally. “The following year, Steffen and a few other interested parties came down from South Dakota and attended our local meeting, and a few controlled burns,” Dennis says. “We collaborated on burns in South Dakota by helping that group develop burn plans and assisting with the burns. Our motivation was to teach their group how to safely conduct controlled burns, so they could teach others in the state.”

In 2017, the South Dakota group formed its own Mid-Missouri River Prescribed Burn Association —the first in the state — with Steffen and several neighbors as driving forces in the effort.

“Cedar trees were just beginning to become a problem,” Steffen recalls. “I looked at maps that showed the encroachment problems, especially big bunches along the Missouri River.”  The aerial maps showed about one-third of Gregory County with cedar tree problems. “Thanks to funds from the South Dakota Grasslands Coalition, we sent out a questionnaire, asking landowners about cedars on their land, and if they would consider prescribed fire as a control.”

Jerald DennisA prescribed burnLIGHTING IT UP:  Two years before the actual burn near Fort Randall Dam in South Dakota, Jerald Dennis sheared several large cedar trees and pushed them up against mature live trees. In 2012, when they started their prescribed burn in that area, the sheared trees ignited easily and burned into the live trees.

Steffen says that working with the Nebraska group helped their association in South Dakota organize and conduct burns of its own.

“We’ve had burns in the hundreds of acres so far, mostly in Gregory County, but also in Charles Mix County. That included a couple of big ranches,” Steffen says. “In many cases, nonresident landowners contact us about conducting a burn on their property. In most cases, we like it when landowners participate in the burn themselves, but with some nonresidents, we accept a payment for doing the burns.”

The Mid-Missouri River group now covers four counties, including Gregory, Charles Mix, Brule and Lyman.

“From the prescribed burns, we have witnessed tremendous recovery of warm-season native grasses on those grasslands where there was grazing management to go along with it,” Steffen says. “There has been fantastic recovery to a typical native plant community in the rough hills and breaks of the Missouri River.”

Cedar treesDEAD TIMBER:  At specific heights, cedar trees do not stand a chance against a well-run prescribed burn. Most of the trees pictured here are completed destroyed. Grass recovery in an area like this is surprisingly rapid.

Steffen says that landowners are amazed with the amount of new grass growth there has been within a year’s time. “Keep in mind, we’ve had plenty of rain in recent years to grow grass, so we have been above normal in soil moisture,” he adds.

For the group based in Bristow, fire has been a worthwhile tool in their war against ERC for more than a decade. “We add new, younger members to our group every year,” Dennis says. “Most of them are members of the fire department, so they are comfortable with conducting a burn. We all work together, and it is great knowing that the other guys have got your back.”

Learn more about Nebraska prescribed fire associations at the state’s Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever website, nebraskapf.com. Learn about the Mid-Missouri River Prescribed Burn Association of South Dakota online at midmissouririverpba.com.RELATEDYoung farmers get involved in ag groupsNovember 17, 2020Landowners band together to confront eastern red cedarJune 22, 2020

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Management of Fall Armyworm: The IPM Innovation Lab Approach

https://ipmil.cired.vt.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/IPM-IL-FAW-Management.pdf.

By:

Sara Hendery

Communications Coordinator

Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management

Hendery, Sara saraeh91@vt.edu

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New strategy in battle against invasive cedars

TAGS: RANCHINGCurt ArensControlled burn in field

FIRE IT UP: Prescribed fire is one of the most comprehensive tools available to farmers and ranchers in their battle against invasive eastern red cedar. Fire does especially well when control measures are first employed on smaller trees located on intact grasslands, and then working back into mature stands.Start with intact grasslands, and work on controlling small cedars first.

Curt Arens | Dec 15, 2020

What if we’ve been going about reclaiming grazing lands from encroachment of invasive eastern red cedar trees all wrong? There is no denying the issue.

Between 2005 and 2015, cedar seedlings in Nebraska doubled to nearly 275 million. The Nebraska Forest Service estimates that 333,134 forest acres in cedar in 2015 amounts to about 22% of the state’s forested area.https://b710577702287762840fb1d33fc50ac6.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

Thanks to mechanical removal and other means, the spread has slowed since 2009, and the state’s cedar forest declined by 30,000 acres between 2013 and 2015. However, the problem remains monumental, and the state’s rangeland and livestock producers are negatively affected if the problem isn’t controlled.

At a series of recent workshops sponsored in part by the Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition, Nebraska Cattlemen and the Sandhills Task Force, Nebraska rangeland ecologist Dirac Twidwell told producers that our strategy so far is flawed.

Rather than dumping endless resources into the worst areas of encroachment, and trying to tackle large cedar trees and clear vast areas, Twidwell suggested trying something new. He believes that the best and most efficient use of resources is to start in areas of rangeland where cedar trees are just beginning to invade, clearing those areas first, and then working back into the worst spots.

Starting with grasslands

“This strategy is more effective when people consider the ecology of encroachment, which starts with the reproduction pathway,” Twidwell explained. “Spread into grasslands comes from a seed source, and 95% of cedar encroachment in the Nebraska Sandhills occurred within 200 yards of a seed source.”

If producers manage cedars by only cutting mature, reproducing trees, then landowners can never catch up to seed distribution. “That means that they have to come back to cut again in the future,” Twidwell said. “Manage the seed, prevent seedlings from becoming mature and anchor efforts to healthy grasslands.”

After that battle is won, then push back against the more mature stands, he added.

“Multiple management options have the potential to manage the encroachment process,” Twidwell said. “There is no silver bullet. But only fire has the potential to manage all phases of encroachment at once, because fire consumes seed, kills seedlings and can kill mature trees and larger stands.”

At a low cost of only $5 to $10 per acre, no other tool at a landowner’s disposal has the potential to do all four things at once like fire.

The best success stories in winning the battle against encroachment have been where landowners have banded together to use prescribed fire to burn grasslands before cedar trees become a visible problem. “These areas have been shown to be more capable of preventing grassland loss,” Twidwell added.

“Woody encroachment is a national rangeland problem, and it is taking land out of agricultural production,” he noted. “It shows we have weakness in our management, and it is tied to trees.”

Intact rangelands are most resilient to woody encroachment, but to prevent the expansion and loss of intact grasslands, new seed-producing trees must be prevented.

“The Great Plains still has some of the most intact grasslands remaining on the planet,” Twidwell said. “The Sandhills produced more than 30 billion pounds of total grass production last year.”

But no state or region has fixed the cedar problem once encroachment has taken over, he said. “Don’t wait to act,” Twidwell said. “You can’t control the problem just on your own property. We are seeing the need to band together and to scale up and think bigger. The areas where we see landowners cooperating and working together are the areas in the Great Plains where we are seeing the greatest success.”

Learn more by contacting Twidwell at dirac.twidwell@unl.edu.

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Farm Weekly

Russian wheat aphid infiltrates south east

26 Aug 2020, 10 a.m.Cropping NewsAaDiscolouration and streaking on a wheat leaf caused by the exotic cereal pest, Russian wheat aphid.

 Discolouration and streaking on a wheat leaf caused by the exotic cereal pest, Russian wheat aphid.

A PEST never before seen in Western Australia has been detected on the south east coast of the State.

A sighting of Russian wheat aphid, which was discovered in South Australia in 2016 and subsequently in Victoria, parts of New South Wales and Tasmania, has been confirmed in two wheat crops north of Esperance.

Grain growers and consultants have been urged to survey cereal crops and grassy weeds for aphids and report any activity.

As it is difficult to distinguish between aphid species, landholders and consultants are encouraged to report all aphid activity via the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s (DPIRD) MyPestGuide Reporter app.

DPIRD chief plant biosecurity officer Sonya Broughton said they had been working with industry to ensure it was well prepared in the event the pest was found in WA.

“Department officers have been working with stakeholders and the broader research community across Australia over several years to minimise the impact of this pest, as it has become broadly established across Australia,” Dr Broughton said.

“A lot has been learned from the research and growers’ experiences interstate about how cereal crops respond to Russian wheat aphid and how best to manage the pest.

“Crop monitoring by landholders and delimiting surveillance by the department will help us to determine the extent of spread of the pest in WA and what actions are required.”

The National Management Group, comprising all Australian governments, Grain Producers Australia and Plant Health Australia, determined in 2016 that the pest was not technically feasible or cost-beneficial to eradicate from Australia.

Eradication in WA is unlikely due to the biology of the pest and its ability to spread on the wind.

The crops where the detection was made will be sprayed to contain the pest, while further surveillance is undertaken.

Dr Broughton said inspecting the edges of wheat, barley and oat crops, where pests often colonise first, or where plants are under stress and looking for damage near the base of newly emerged leaves was most effective.

“Symptoms could look like herbicide, thrips, mite or wheat streak damage,” she said.

“Look for a noticeable loss of green colouration across the crop and, on closer inspection, white, yellow, purple or red streaking, leaf curling, stunted plant growth and loss of vigour.”

As Russian wheat aphids are only about two millimetres long, pale yellowish green with a fine waxy coating, a hand lens or smartphone macro lens may be useful.

Chemical permits are available to control Russian wheat aphids in grains crops, with more information available from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority’s website.

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Yahoo.com

States urging residents to be on the lookout for destructive invasive species

MEREDITH DELISOABC NewsAugust 16, 2020

Officials across multiple states are urging people to be on the lookout for an invasive species that can have a devastating impact on agriculture.

In recent weeks, officials in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey have been sounding the alarm about the spotted lanternfly, which currently is in its prime feeding season and can wreak havoc on crops.

For the first time, live spotted lanternflies were also found on Staten Island, New York, state authorities announced Friday.

PHOTO: A spotted lanternfly is seen on a tree in this stock photo. (STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images)
PHOTO: A spotted lanternfly is seen on a tree in this stock photo. (STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images)

The first live find is “concerning,” Basil Seggos, the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) commissioner, said in a statement, adding that the goal is to “prevent it from further entering New York state and limiting any serious threats to our natural resources.”https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fnyagandmarkets%2Fposts%2F2949919981804190&show_text=true&width=552&height=543&appId

The spotted lanternfly feeds on more than 70 plant species, which can make the plants vulnerable to disease and attacks from other insects. A Penn State study released earlier this year found that the invasive species cost the Pennsylvania economy about $50 million, including $29 million in direct costs on growers and forest landowners.

MORE: ‘Gross’: Lanternflies causing big bug problem for some

People can help limit the spotted lanternfly’s spread by reporting sightings to their state agriculture department or by simply squashing the bug.

Video: ‘Murder hornets’ resurface in Pacific Northwest

   The inch-long insect is distinguished by the reddish, polka-dotted wings of adult spotted lanternflies, which mature in late July and August. People should also be on the lookout for the insect’s eggs, which adults begin laying in September. Egg masses are about 1 inch long and resemble mud. To kill them, officials recommend using alcohol, bleach or hand sanitizer, or double bagging them and throwing them away.

People can also help prevent the spread of the spotted lanternfly by not inadvertently transporting the insect or its eggs. Native to Asia, the insect is notorious for hitchhiking and primarily spread through human activity.

Dozens of counties across multiple states are currently under a form of quarantine due to the insect, including 26 in Pennsylvaniaeight in New Jerseytwo in Maryland and one in Delaware. Typically that means anyone who travels in a quarantined county is asked to inspect their vehicle, luggage, gear, outdoor items and clothing for the spotted lanternfly or its eggs before leaving. It may also mean businesses are required to have a permit to move certain items within or from quarantine zones.

MORE: Study: Spotted lanternfly costing Pennsylvania $50M annually

“Its ability to travel easily on any mode of transportation has allowed it to spread,” New Jersey Department of Agriculture Plant Industry Division Director Joe Zoltowski said last week in an update on the state’s actions to eradicate the species. “We are asking residents to do their part by eliminating this bug whenever possible.”https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1293611347981340675&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.yahoo.com%2Fgma%2Fstates-urging-residents-lookout-destructive-021654709.html&siteScreenName=GMA&theme=light&widgetsVersion=223fc1c4%3A1596143124634&width=550px

The insect prefers the tree-of-heaven, another invasive species. Since 2018, more than 200,000 trees-of-heaven have been treated on almost 19,000 acres in New Jersey, state officials said last week. Infestations are primarily along the state’s border with Pennsylvania, which had the first reported sighting of the spotted lanternfly in the U.S. Since first detected in Berks County in 2014, the insect has been found in more than a third of the state’s counties.Story continues

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The Economist

A plague of insects
Why locusts swarm

A new discovery could offer novel ways of controlling the insectsScience & technologyAug 15th 2020 edition


Aug 15th 2020

  • In some parts of the world, covid-19 is not the only plague that 2020 has brought. In parts of Asia and east Africa, swarms of locusts have stripped fields. The un reckons the swarms in India and Pakistan are the largest for a quarter of a century, and that the numbers in Kenya are the highest for 70 years. One swarm in northern Kenya was estimated to be 25 miles (40km) long and 37 miles wide.

Locusts are usually inoffensive, solitary creatures that do not stray far from the place that they were born. But under the right circumstances—namely heavy rain, and a subsequent boom in plant growth—they can become “gregarious”. When that happens the insects change colour and gather in ravenous swarms which can fly more than 100km in a day.

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Thursday, 09 July 2020 12:42:00

From PestNet

Grahame Jackson posted a new submission ‘UNDIAGNOSED RUST, MAIZE – KENYA: (BARINGO)’

Submission

UNDIAGNOSED RUST, MAIZE – KENYA: (BARINGO)

ProMED
https://promedmail.org/

Source: The Standard, FarmKenya [edited]
https://www.farmers.co.ke/article/2001376657/fears-as-deadly-maize-rust-affects-3-000-acre-field
Farmers contracted to grow certified maize seeds in Baringo are staring at losses following [an] outbreak of maize rust disease. There are 8 farmer-managed schemes contracted to plant seed maize on 3000 acres [1214 hectares].
[One farmer] said the crop germinated evenly, but was hit by the fungal disease at the flowering stage and [the disease] was spreading fast. “Several varieties of maize were grown, but the disease affected one variety that we fear might cause us more losses,” [he] said. Leaves of the crop appeared brown and rusty.
Kenya Seeds Company that contracted [the] farmers are inspecting the farms. [They] attributed the disease to cold weather following heavy rains, saying it could be managed by spraying fungicides. Extension officers have been sent to the ground to find mitigation measures.

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail
<promed@promedmail.org>
[There are 3 rusts affecting maize: common rust caused by _Puccinia sorghi_; southern rust caused by _Puccinia polysora_; and tropical rust caused by _Phakopsora zeae_. (For more information, see previous ProMED-mail posts in the archives and links below.)
Rust spores are wind dispersed over long distances. They can also be spread by mechanical means (human or insect activities) and on contaminated materials (equipment, clothing, crop debris). The fungi need living tissue to survive between seasons. Volunteer crop and wild host plants may generate a “green bridge” providing inoculum to infect new crops. Disease management relies mainly on timely fungicide applications, choice of crop cultivars, and control of volunteer crop plants. Early discovery of infection is important so action can be taken to limit pathogen spread as well as build-up of inoculum.
Maps
Kenya:
https://www.nationsonline.org/maps/kenya_map.jpg and
http://healthmap.org/promed/p/48354
Kenya counties:
https://www.mapsofworld.com/kenya/kenya-political-map.html
Pictures
Symptoms of some maize diseases via:
http://www.ipmimages.org/browse/Areasubs.cfm?area=72
Links
Information on common and southern maize rusts via:
http://maizedoctor.cimmyt.org/pests-diseases/list and
https://www.pestnet.org/fact_sheets/maize_common_rust_225.htm
List of major diseases and pathogens of maize:
https://www.apsnet.org/edcenter/resources/commonnames/Pages/Corn.aspx
Fungal taxonomy and synonyms via:
http://www.indexfungorum.org/Names/Names.asp
– Mod.DHA]


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TheScientist

wasp-banner-x

Researchers Try to Head Off “Murder Hornets” Coming into US

Asian giant hornets were found for the first time in Washington State and could reemerge in the spring.

Shawna Williams

Shawna Williams
May 4, 2020

ABOVE: © ISTOCK.COM, KAGENMI

Members of the species Vespa mandarinia, a hornet infamous for wiping out whole colonies of honey bees and delivering painful and sometimes deadly stings to humans, have been spotted in the United States for the first time, The New York Times reports. Two dead “murder hornets” found in Washington State late last year have sparked a hunt for colonies, which researchers hope to eradicate before the species can establish a firm foothold in the area.

“This is our window to keep it from establishing,” Chris Looney, an entomologist at the Washington State Department of Agriculture, tells the Times. “If we can’t do it in the next couple of years, it probably can’t be done.”

As its name suggests, the Asian giant hornet is native to Asia; it is the largest hornet species in the world, with queens growing to about two inches long. When they invade a honey bee hive, they decapitate the bees and take their thoraxes back to their own nest to feed their young, quickly wiping out the bee colony. While Japanese honey bees have defenses against this predation, including surrounding a hornet and vibrating their bodies to produce heat that kills the invader, honey bee species in the US have no effective way to fend them off. “They’re sitting bees—or sitting ducks,” Looney said in a presentation delivered in February.

See “War Dance of the Honeybee

“It’s a shockingly large hornet,” says Todd Murray, an entomologist and invasive species specialist at Washington State University (WSU), in an article in a campus publication. “It’s a health hazard, and more importantly, a significant predator of honey bees.” The hornets don’t often sting people, but when they do, their stings are venomous and uncommonly painful, the Times notes. The stingers can penetrate protective beekeeper suits.

In addition to the sightings in northwest Washington, Asian giant hornets have been found across the border in southwest British Columbia, including a colony that was eradicated on Vancouver Island last September. In his presentation, Looney notes it’s not known how the insects reached North America, but that the most likely scenario is that queens stowed away on ships.

According to the WSU article, the hornets were likely to have grown active again in April as queens emerge from hibernation. University researchers are urging people in the area to learn how to identify the insects and to report any sightings.

Keywords:

agriculture
agroecology
ecology
ecology & environment
honey bees
honeybee
insect
insect behavior
nutshell
pollinators
wasps

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