Invasive weed could cut crop yields by 30 per cent

By Nicholas Okeya. Originally published on SciDev.Net.

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Cuscuta campestris infestation on ornamental plant in Mombasa County, Kenya Copyright: Innocent Ngare

A dangerous invasive alien weed known as field dodder could be a serious menace to agriculture and biodiversity across Sub-Saharan Africa, and reduce crop yields, scientists say.

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Scientists confirm first report of egg parasitoid in Africa to fight devastating fall armyworm

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Adult Telenomus remus (Copyright: G. Goergen, IITA)

A group of scientists have confirmed the first report of an egg parasitoid Telenomus remus in Africa which could prove an important biological weapon in the fight against the devastating fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) that threatens the food security of more than 200 million people.

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New pest risk analysis decision support tool in development from CABI

Colorado beetle eats a potato leaves young.

A Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) allows National Plant Protection Organisations (NPPOs) to assess risks posed by pests or pathways of quarantine concern, and identify options to manage those risks. Recognising that there was a need for support in the completion of PRAs, CABI, under its Action on Invasives programme, has designed and is developing an online PRA tool.

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Asia on alert as highly destructive fall armyworm spreads

By Trudy Harris. Originally published on SciDev.Net.

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Farmers and authorities throughout Asia need to be vigilant against fall armyworm invasions, after confirmation that the fast-moving pest has spread from India to China and now to South-East Asia, agricultural experts say.
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Fall Armyworm attack: ‘Eastern India more vulnerable to infestation’

Originally published on DownToEarth

Warmer temperatures increase the metabolism and reproductive rates of the pest

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Fall Armyworm was first reported in July 2018 in Karnataka. Ever since, it has spread to its neighbouring states. Reports are now coming from West Bengal and Bihar as well. The initial damages are widespread as the pest is a voracious feeder. But we have reacted quickly. The Karnataka government, for example, has issued ad hoc recommendations for emergency response against it.

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Biological control against invasive agricultural pest slows deforestation across Southeast Asia

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Used as an effective method of controlling invasive species, biological control (or biocontrol) is the term given to the use of living organisms for controlling pests and invasive species. It can provide an effective, environmentally-friendly and cost-efficient way of controlling pest populations, helping to restore crop yields and farmer’s profits. However a recent study, focussing on invasive cassava mealybugs, has shown that biocontrol can also have some surprising knock-on effects.

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Zygogramma bicolorata released at selected sites in Pakistan as biological control of parthenium

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Parthenium hysterophorus is a highly destructive weed which has invaded and is widespread in around 48 countries in Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific. In Pakistan the weed is spreading rapidly westwards and southwards across both rural and urban landscapes, affecting native ecology and harming agriculture.

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