The Grapevine Moth appeared in South America in 2008. It was detected in Chile and Argentina where it attacked at least 30% of the area in production. Since then, phytosanitary authorities and growers have implemented strict control and monitoring programs.
All forms of combating Lobesia Botrana are acceptable, although the most effective has been a strategy that combines the use of a pheromone that causes sexual confusion and insecticides.
Although it is a manageable pest today, we cannot let our guard down. The cost associated with managing and controlling the pest in order to avoid losing more than 40% of the crop is estimated to be USD$ 300-400 per hectare each season.
In 2011 Argentina declared a “phytosanitary emergency” in order to keep the Grapevine Moth from spreading from Mendoza to Patagonia. In addition to direct damage, this pest causes indirect damage related to the restriction and even the closing of some markets, as well as regulations and quarantine treatments.
There are only enough honeybees in Britain to properly pollinate a quarter of the country’s crops, scientists claim.
Destruction of huge swathes of grassland and the use of agricultural chemicals have caused a spiralling drop in the populations of honeybees, which are vital for food production.
Professor Simon Potts of the University of Reading, who led the research project, said: ‘We face a catastrophe in future years unless we act now.’
Destruction of huge swathes of grassland and the use of agricultural chemicals have caused a spiralling drop in the populations of honeybees, which are vital for food production
THE STUDY IN NUMBERS Europe has 13.4million too few honeybee colonies to properly pollinate all its crops. The bees do the work of polinating crops for free that would otherwise cost British farmers £1.8billion to replace. Overall, the 41 European countries studied have only two-thirds of the honeybees they need. The problem is particularly acute in Britain, where there are only 275,000 colonies - a quarter of the one million colonies needed to maximise yields. A bee colony can vary in size from 20,000 to 60,000 bees. Previous studies have estimated that the number of British honeybees have halved over the last 25 years.
The research, published in the journal PLOS One, found that Europe has 13.4million too few honeybee colonies to properly pollinate all its crops.
Bee populations have plummeted as their meadowland habitats were concreted over and their wildflower food supply killed by herbicides.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2535972/Honeybee-shortage-lead-crop-failure-cost-UK-economy-1-8bn-claim-scientists.html#ixzz2q9qJtNQd
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Australia: Nursery confirms links to melon virus outbreak
Biosecurity Queensland has confirmed it's investigating a Queensland nursery linked to the outbreak of a virus that's crippled the Northern Territory's melon industry, but has refused to provide exact details about the nursery, or nurseries, involved.
Determining where cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV) came from has been described as like finding 'a needle in a haystack'.
The virus originated overseas, and has devastated the Territory's horticulture industry since it was found on melon farms near Katherine in the Northern Territory seven weeks ago, and more recently on a pumpkin farm.
Ten farmers have had their properties quarantined and told to destroy their crops.
They've also had a two-year ban imposed on growing any crops related to the cucurbit family which includes cucumber and melons.
One theory is the virus was accidentally brought into Australia on infected cucurbit seed. From there, the seed is thought to have been grown out at a nursery before being sent to the Northern Territory.
A new and exceptionally virulent form of potato blight, which is also resistant to most modern pesticides is spreading fast. Literature and news on the new potential threat, picked up by IBIS, alludes to the emergency from 1845, when the destruction of potato crops in Ireland, caused by the same microorganism lead to many deaths and immigration. What's even worse, the pathogen is polyphagus and it can attack multiple hosts.
Is this a real threat and if so what is going to be the balance of containting the pathogen versus damage in 2014?
"The potato is, like the turkey, a relative newcomer, for it reached European plates less than 300 years ago. It led to a population boom. Within 70 years of the crop arriving in Ireland, the number of citizens there rose from two to nine million. Many had a diet that consisted only of that single item, plus milk or cheese – which, monotonous though it is, will support life. Everywhere, its adoption led to an increase in childhood survival. Its effects on health are shown by the dramatic increase in height, of up to an inch, that followed every introduction.
Then came disaster. In 1845, a plant disease spread throughout Europe, with Ireland the hardest hit. As the tubers rotted, more than a million died and almost a million and a half emigrated.
The late blight, as the condition is called, is due to the mould Phytophthora infestans – the “infectious plant-destroyer”. It multiplies at great speed, sending out spores that blow in the wind or float down streams. Once these reach a host, they hatch to give cells that can swim and can sense a nearby target. In warm, wet weather, these cells can live their life in just four or five days to produce a new and abundant generation that lays waste to fields.
Fossilised DNA from ancient leaves kept in museums – one of which comes from the famine year – show that a mixture of strains attacked the plants, but that one in particular dominated for 50 years. It then disappeared and was replaced by new forms of blight, but many of those, too, have become extinct.
Now we face an emergency close to that of 1845. Within the past decade, the DNA of late blight shows that a single new and exceptionally virulent form is spreading fast. The first British examples of clone 13 A2, as it is called, emerged in 2005. Within three years that single variant, among all the billions of moulds, made up three quarters of cases, and is set to replace them all. It attacks almost all potato varieties, resists pesticides and causes a much more aggressive infection than did earlier forms. It has now reached India and China, the biggest producers of all. In its belligerence and spread, it reflects many other plant diseases that have raced across the globe in this new era of international trade.
We are too fixed in our dietary habits. Of the 200,000 kinds of flowering plant, only about 300 have ever been grown for food, and most now play only a tiny part. If potatoes become expensive treats, we will face a crisis less challenging than that of the Irish famine, but a crisis nevertheless. Even as we do, the cost of the flour, alcohol and sugar that go into the final course of the celebratory Christmas meal has dropped.
What were luxuries have turned into staples, and what once kept the poor alive may soon become a luxury. Quite what rare delicacy will fill the hole on the festive plate nobody knows. A diet of cake alone would be dull indeed. Perhaps, as Marie-Antoinette almost put it, “Let them eat chips”."