Archive for the ‘Pest diagnostics’ Category


Released: 2-Nov-2017 6:05 PM EDT

Source Newsroom: South Dakota State University

  • Under moist conditions, the Diaporthe pathogens on these soybean stems multiply.

  • South Dakota State University field crops pathologist Febina Mathew and Kristina Petrović, a visiting scientist from Serbia, examine soybeans for evidence of stem canker, focusing on the nodes or joints. Not only is this disease hard to distinguish from other soybean diseases, but the pathogen can be transmitted through the seeds.

  • Reddish brown lesions, particularly at the joint or node, are indications of soybean stem canker.

  • Kristina Petrović, a visiting scientist from Serbia, examines Diaporthe pathogens isolated from soybeans that farmers, crop consultants and soybean researchers across the United States have sent to South Dakota State University field crop pathologist Febina Mathew.

  • Newswise — Scouting soybean fields and identifying diseases are some of the tasks that Kristina Petrović performs as a research associate at the Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops in Serbia. She is expanding her work on pathogens that affect soybeans as a visiting scientist at South Dakota State University, where she is working with field crops pathologist Febina Mathew, an assistant professor in the Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science.

“I am happy when I find disease,” Petrović quipped. She was the first to report that three species of Diaporthe, the pathogen that causes stem canker of soybean, were triggering Phomopsis seed decay in Serbia. Petrović published two papers on her findings in Plant Disease, an American Phytopathological Society journal. When she told the journal editor that she wanted to do postdoctoral research in the United States, he circulated her credentials among the society’s members.

“After four days, Febina invited me to South Dakota State University to examine the Diaporthe species causing soybean disease in the United States,” Petrović recalled. Her 10-month residency, which began in August, is supported by a grant from the Serbian government and funding from the Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops. She also received support for her SDSU research from the North Central Soybean Research Program and the South Dakota Agricultural Experimental Station.

The world has two main types of stem canker—the Northern variety, which likes cool temperatures and affects both South Dakota and Serbian soybeans, and the Southern, which can survive high temperatures. Both types like moisture, Petrović explained.

Plants are infected when raindrops hit pathogen-containing plant residue and splash the fungus spores onto the young soybean plants. “At the end of July or beginning of August, when soybeans are in their pod-fill stage, we see the first symptoms, dark brown lesions the spread up and down the plant,” she said.

“Planting resistant genotypes is the best option for producers,” Petrović explained.  In Serbia, she said, “Our genotypes have good field resistance, but not complete resistance. However, we are trying to find the most resistant or tolerant soybean genotypes.”

In the United States, five Diaporthe species are causing soybean disease, according to Mathew. She and North Dakota State University Extension Plant Pathologist Sam Markell found Diaporthe gulyae, which causes Phomopsis stem canker in sunflowers, associated with stem disease on soybeans.

Recently plant scientists have seen an increase in soybean diseases caused by Diaporthe (Phomopsis) species in the United States, according to Mathew. Petrović’s research will help identify the pathogens behind this increased disease prevalence.

“I want to know more about the relationship among the Diaporthe species,” said Petrović. To do this, she’ll examine the pathogens’ diversity using phylogenetics. She and Mathew will also screen soybean genotypes to identify sources of resistance to Diaporthe species that will help breeders develop resistant soybean cultivars.

This research will help scientists develop strategies to manage the disease that will benefit farmers not only in the United States, but also in Serbia.



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Soybean Disease Diagnostic Guide

Dr. Glen Hartman collaborated with the Soybean Innovation Lab to develop a new diagnostic guide for the identification of soybean diseases and pests specifically designed for use in Africa.

The first step in the treatment and management of plant diseases is identification. In tropical environments like Sub-Saharan Africa, a variety of soybean diseases like soybean rust, bacterial pustule and frogeye leaf spot continue to plague plant breeders and smallholder farmers by destroying crops and causing drastic decreases in yields. Lower yields impede plant breeders from intensifying their breeding programs and cause smallholders to lose potential profits.

The diagnostic guide will inform soybean breeders on what diseases they need to breed resistance to, help agronomic researchers design better disease prevention strategies, and provides farmers with another resource to increase their soybean yields.


Click here to access the guide.


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Daily Nation

Technology will help farmers identify crop diseases and the nearest support system



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1 day ago

A team of scientists has developed a mobile phone application which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to accurately identify crop diseases in the field.

The app also delivers the latest advice to manage all major diseases and pests that affect root, tuber and banana crops, and helps farmers identify the nearest agricultural extension support for the farmers.

The project which is being implemented by a global network of scientists is part of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research’s (CGIAR) research programme on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB).

“As smartphones become more common in rural Africa, they also become handy in agricultural productivity.

“Smallholder farmers or extension officials having basic smartphones with a camera can download the application free of charge, run it up and point the camera at a leaf that has disease indications. They will then get an immediate diagnosis of the disease affecting the plant.” said Dr James Legg, a researcher at the (IITA), in Tanzania, who heads the project alongside Dr David Hughes of Penn State University.

Cassava brown streak and cassava mosaic diseases have for a long time been a threat to food security and income generation of over 30 million farmers in East and Central Africa.

Similarly, the region’s banana production is vulnerable to fungal and bacterial diseases such as the devastating banana bunchy top virus and while late blight which beleaguer potato farmers.

Rural farmers are often incapable of properly identifying these diseases, while researchers, plant health experts and extension officials lack the data to support them, hence the significance of this development.

The current app was developed to help identify cassava diseases, but the team of developers/researchers  was awarded Sh10 million in grants as part of CGIAR’s platform for Big Data in Agriculture Inspire Challenge in September, to help them expand the application to other root, tuber and banana crops that are key food sources.

This will in turn boost nutrition and income security for many farmers.

In the application’s initial development, careful fieldwork involving cameras, spectrophotometers and drones at cassava field sites in coastal Tanzania and on farms in western Kenya generated more than 200,000 images of diseased crops to train the system’s AI algorithms.

Using these images, the scientists advanced an AI process that is able to automatically classify five cassava diseases, and by involving tech company, Google, the team was able to develop the smartphone application using TensorFlow, an open-source software library for machine learning across a range of tasks.

The system is currently under field-test in Tanzania.

Penn State University has also developed a mobile spectrophotometer through a small firm called Croptix, whose initial results indicate it can accurately diagnose different viral diseases in the field, even when the plant looks healthy.

“The application similarly uses AI in real time so the farmer can be an active contributor in disease diagnosis and plant health management, hence more yields for smallholder farmers.

“It is similarly groundbreaking because our AI is based on research from scientists at CGIAR and RTB, who are among the world’s best human intelligence on African crops,” said Dr Hughes.

The team has established a working association with Vodafone’s agriculture SMS platform, DigiFarm, which will allow them to link digital diagnostics to largescale text messaging services used by rural farmers.

It will in turn deliver farmer-tailored SMS alerts on crop diseases and pests to 350,000 Kenyan farmers by July 2018.


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Machine Learning Helps Small Farmers Identify Plant Pests And Diseases

A new app aims to help smallholder farmers fight pests and diseases that are killing their crops.

Machine Learning Helps Small Farmers Identify Plant Pests And Diseases
[Photo: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg/Getty Images]

The world’s 500 million smallholder farmers have a new weapon in their never-ending fight against pests and plant diseases: an app called Plantix. By uploading pictures of affected crops to the mobile service, they can quickly diagnose unwanted funguses and insects and get ideas about how to deal with infestations before they get out of control. Three years after launch, the app is being used more than 1 million times a month, particularly in India, Brazil, and North Africa.

[Photo: courtesy Plantix]

In Africa, the current number-one enemy pest is the fall armyworm–so-called because it marches like an advanced military unit, eating everything in its path. The colorful caterpillars are munching through maize, sorghum, rice, and legume fields in 24 countries. If farmers don’t react in time–for example by spraying with the appropriate pesticides–economic losses could reach more than $5 billion this year, estimates show.The UN Food & Agricultural Organization says 20% to 40% of all global crops are lost each year because of plant pests and diseases that aren’t managed properly. Developed by a small team in Germany, Plantix offers guidance to farmers who don’t have the privilege of human consultants.


“There’s a huge gap between agricultural consultancy and people’s needs on the ground in emerging countries,” says Korbinian Hartberger, one of four cofounders of PEAT, the startup that develops the free-to-use app. “There’s a lot more demand than what’s on offer. They can’t wait for someone to come along two months [after the infestation] and say, ‘yes, I think you should have sprayed this.’”

The Android interface is simple but makes use of sophisticated machine learning technology working in the background. PEAT has trained its algorithms using thousands of pictures of affected plants, allowing the app to recognize telltale patterns as farmers upload new pictures. They’re currently sending in about 5,000 pictures a day and the app is able to recognize up to 400 diseases or pests. The most common include soya bean and wheat rust, powdery and downy mildews, and aphids, Hartberger says.

As well as automated image recognition, the app also features community forums, where users help each other diagnose problems from uploaded photos. About 200,000 users are actively using the service, according to the startup.

PEAT was initially funded through a grant from the German government and it doesn’t generate revenue currently. Hartberger says that could change in the future. For instance, the system could be adapted for use in aerial drones or on-the-ground robots, or it could help connect farmers with sellers of agricultural products. Currently, it suggests generic pesticides, but not brand names.

“People may use more pesticides [after using the app], but they’re less likely to use the wrong pesticides. Our contribution is to smallholders with fast and reliable information, so they’re not just going to shop and asking the guy behind the counter for advice. It gives them something more specific they can work with,” Hartberger says.

About the author

Ben Schiller is a New York staff writer for Fast Company. Previously, he edited a European management magazine and was a reporter in San Francisco, Prague, and Brussels.


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USDA APHIS ITP’s web-based tool, Antkey

The team is pleased to announce the latest addition to our mobile app collection: Antkey Mobile. Developed in cooperation with the tool’s author, Eli Sarnat, and Australia’s Identic team, this app is based on ITP’s

Lucid Mobile apps offer you the identification keys you’ve come to rely on from the convenience of your smartphone or tablet. Antkey Mobile (free for Android or iOS) allows you to take your Lucid key with you into the field for surveys and screening, even if your field site lacks internet access.

This key allows both specialists and novices to easily identify invasive, introduced, and commonly intercepted ant species from across the globe. You can help confirm whether you have found the correct species by comparing your specimen with the images and descriptions on the fact sheets, which are included for each species.

Antkey Mobile is one of 13 apps ITP has developed for use in field identification of plant pests and diseases. Please visit http://idtools.org to see all of ITP’s apps or to learn more about ITP. For technical questions about Lucid Mobile, please contact Identic (enquiries@lucidcentral.org) or visit their website. For questions or comments about this or any of ITP’s other mobile apps, please contact Amanda Redford (itp@usda.gov).Antkey

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| EurekAlert! Science News

Public Release: 4-May-2017

Stink bugs: Free guide for agricultural integrated pest management

Insights for midwestern corn, soybean growers on managing various stink bug species

Entomological Society of America

IMAGE: A new open-access guide in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management outlines the identifying features, lifecycles, behaviors, and management options for a variety of stink bug species that are increasingly… view more 

Credit: Photo credits: Cassandra Kurtz and Christopher Philips, modified by Daniela Pezzini

Annapolis, MD; April 28, 2017 — Farmers in the midwestern United States have been battling increasing infestations from a variety of stink bug species in recent years, and now they have a new free resource for understanding and managing the emerging pests.

Next week, the Entomological Society of America’s open-access Journal of Integrated Pest Management (JIPM) will publish “Identification, Biology, Impacts, and Management of Stink Bugs (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) of Soybean and Corn in the Midwestern United States,” a profile of several of the most common stink bug pests that offers methods for differentiating species, summaries of stink bug life cycles and behaviors, and guidance for monitoring and managing them.

Stink bugs have historically been more prevalent pests in the southern United States, but they are now making more frequent appearances in midwestern fields, according to Robert Koch, Ph.D., assistant professor and extension entomologist at the University of Minnesota and lead author of the JIPM article. “Because stink bugs are emerging as a new threat to Midwest soybean and corn production, we felt that there was need for a comprehensive review of these pests that was accessible to producers and agricultural professionals,” he says.

Koch and co-authors conducted an extensive review of existing research on management of stink bugs in developing the new profile aimed at midwestern growers. While “at least 24 species or subspecies of stink bugs could potentially be encountered in soybean and corn in the midwestern United States,” the most common pest species are outlined in the article, including:

  • Green stink bug (Chinavia hilaris)
  • Brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys)
  • Redshouldered stink bug (Thyanta custator acerra)
  • Brown stink bug (Euschistus servus)
  • Onespotted stink bug (Euschistus variolarius)

In soybean, stink bugs can feed on all above-ground parts of the plant but prefer pods and developing seeds, and the damage they cause can affect yield, seed quality, and germination rates. In corn, stink bugs can feed on corn at all growth stages, but seedling and early reproductive stages of corn are most susceptible.

Koch and colleagues specify scouting methods for measuring stink bug abundance in fields, along with economic thresholds at which management tactics should be deployed. Their research identifies which classes of insecticides may be best suited for individual species and identify additional resources for growers to investigate cultural and biological control measures, as well.

“Stink bugs tend to be generalist pests and can feed on and move between different crops and wild plant species throughout the year,” says Koch. The JIPM profile rounds up existing knowledge about stink bugs, much of it from research conducted in southern states, but “further research is needed on corn and soybean response to stink bug feeding in the Midwest,” he says.


“Identification, Biology, Impacts, and Management of Stink Bugs (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) of Soybean and Corn in the Midwestern United States,” by Robert L. Koch, Daniela T. Pezzini, Andrew P. Michel, and Thomas E. Hunt, will be published online on May 4 in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management. Journalists may request advance copies of the article via the contact below.

CONTACT: Joe Rominiecki, jrominiecki@entsoc.org, 301-731-4535 x3009

ABOUT: ESA is the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines. Founded in 1889, ESA today has over 6,000 members affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry, and government. Headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland, the Society stands ready as a non-partisan scientific and educational resource for all insect-related topics. For more information, visit http://www.entsoc.org.

Journal of Integrated Pest Management is an open access, peer-reviewed, extension journal covering the field of integrated pest management. The journal is multi-disciplinary in scope, publishing articles in all pest management disciplines, including entomology, nematology, plant pathology, weed science, and other subject areas. For more information, visit https://academic.oup.com/jipm, or visit https://academic.oup.com/insect-science to view the full portfolio of ESA journals and publications.

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Argentina: Tool to control potato pests and diseases

Growing potatoes increases the pressure of pests and diseases, which usually results in the intensive use of plant protection products. To avoid unnecessary applications, a team of specialists from INTA’s Balcarce Integrated Unit and the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences of the National University of Mar del Plata, designed a tool to help producers make decisions. The tool, which is called the SGC Calidad Papa (SGC Quality Potato), is a quality management system that aims at maintaining the potato crop’s health, and was tested in fields with high levels of production.

Gladys Clemente, who is a professor of Phytopathology at the FCA-UNMdP and a researcher at the Balcarce Integrated Unit said: “Usually, producers make fungicide applications based on preset calendar schemes to manage diseases.”

The potato is an inten! sive crop that “is grown in large areas and that requires intensive applications to prevent the development of diseases that can cause major losses, such as potato blight,” Clemente said.

“Decision-making, tailored to the crops real needs, reduces potato production costs by reducing the number of fungicide applications, protects the environment, and ensures producers obtain safe food,” Clemente argued.

According to FAO, the potato is the third biggest food crop, after rice, and wheat. In fact, it occupies a prominent place in the diet of the Argentinians, who consume an average of nearly 60 kilos of potatoes per year.

According to Clemente, the SGC Calidad Papa system will allow producers to manage the pests and diseases that affect the crop at any time of the production cycle in an appropriate and correct manner. “This tool allows producers to make decisions regarding the application of phytosanitary products based on technical-agronomic knowledge acquired from the permanent monitoring of the crops, in combination with risk forecasts, and laboratory diagnosis,” she said.

“Apart form field monitorings and laboratory diagnosis, the quality management system includes a record of meteorologic! al variables in situ to calculate the risk of diseases,” Clemente said. “By using a very clear graph, which is similar to a stop light, we send reports to the producers or consultant warning them about the current possibility of disease development and a forecast for the next five days,” she added.

This information is reported through several weekly newsletters and helps producers identify the right time to make the applications. “Our goal is to provide this information to other potato producing regions of the country. To do this, we are working on the creation of networks with professionals from other INTA units and Agronomy faculties,” the specialist said.

Due to its impact, this project received $35,000 from the Innovar Awards in the Applied Research category. Specialists Marcelo Atilio Huarte, Maria Cecilia Bedogni, Andrea Eugenia Salvalaggio, Marino Marcelo Puricelli, Sebastian Emilio Boracci, and Veronica Elizabeth Crovo also participated in the research.

Recently, SGC Calidad Papa was presented at the Hackaton Agro held in Tandil, on December 3 and 4. The project was also invited to participate in the First Symposium on Bioeconomics of the South Central Pampeana Region, to be held in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.

Source: infocampo.com.ar

Publication date: 12/16/2016

From PestNet

Grahame Jackson
24 Alt street
Queens Park
NSW 2022

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