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Top 5 -yesterday
- What is the status of tomato brown rugose fruit virus in Europe?
- “Our ToBRFV-resistant variety has been preferred by our producers in wide areas since 2020"
- 2022 Year Overview: 10 stories on greenhouse expansion
- New horticultural lighting technical requirements launched
- "Greek producers, who also purchase their plants from Spanish nurseries, have reported the same quality issue in strawberry plants as Spanish producers"
Top 5 -last week
Top 5 -last month
- Zambia: "We produce 5,000 units of lettuce per week, per tunnel, year-round"
- UK growers stop planting and put nurseries on sale amidst energy crisis and labor shortage
- "You can't grow on water without lights"
- "High-tech farmer AppHarvest is running out of money"
- German family company switches from tomato cultivation to hydroponic lettuce
UK: Pregnancy test science could protect vegetable crops
Current trials are underway to help protect crops of Brassicas – sprouts, broccoli, cabbage – and onions, which generated more than £356 million for UK agriculture last year. Diseases including ring spot, light leaf spot and downy mildew are being monitored.
Ring spot in Brassicas is a foliar disease, which if not treated can lead to the loss of 30 per cent of crop.
The test, known as a lateral flow device (LFD), picks up the presence of infective spores carried in the air around crops in the field. Used alongside weather data, test results could indicate how likely a disease is to develop, allowing growers to decide if crop protection methods are needed or not.
Further development work is underway, so growers can gain immediate results, without needing to send samples to laboratories for further testing. The project is the result of an industry partnership between growers, AHDB Horticulture, Warwickshire College and Mololgic Ltd.
AHDB Senior Scientist Cathryn Lambourne, said: “When it’s fully developed this simple low-cost tool, allowing growers to test whether there is a risk of diseases developing on their crops, will help prevent significant financial losses and reduce the need to use conventional methods to protect their crops.
“Over the last four years we’ve been developing the lateral flow device test, demonstrating how simple and effective it is, to give growers the confidence to rely on the results and make appropriate decisions for their business.”
Carl Sharp Agronomist at the Allium and Brassica Centre, said: “This could be a big game changer for growers. If we can get kit like this developed to take out with us, within ten minutes of walking into a field, growers will have results which show what they need to do to protect their crops.”
Downy mildew in onions can cause damage of up to 50 per cent of individual crops if severe and, in a particularly bad year, the whole industry could see crop losses of up to 25 per cent. This same disease could wipe out a whole field of salad onion, with one hectare worth around £30,000.
Euan Alexander, Kettle Produce, Field Operations Manager added: “The long period between the disease affecting the crop and the symptoms appearing, which are a characteristic of many of the diseases tested, can lead to devastating diseases becoming established in crops turning them into waste.
“Using these tests will allow us to select the appropriate fungicide and time application as part of our crop management strategy, before the disease renders any of the crops unmarketable.”
In addition to the common pregnancy test, LFDs are used to detect human diseases including colorectal cancer, cardiac issues and drug abuse screening.
The LFD tests are also being developed to detect other plant diseases. The AHDB is funding the University of Worcester to develop lab tests and LFDs to test for oomycete pathogens, which cause diseases like blight and sudden oak death. Primarily testing is focused on root, stem and crown rots caused by Pythium and the Phytophthora species, commonly known as ‘the plant destroyer’, which can affect a range of crops.
Through the same funding, Warwickshire Colleges and Stockbridge Technology Centre are developing and testing two LFDs to test glasshouse air samples for powdery mildew and gummy stem blight, which affect cucumber crops. Canker in apple tree crops is being investigated in a separate research programme.
Source: AHDB Horticulture
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Other news in this sector:
- 2022-12-02 "We want to give growers more alternatives for crop protection"
- 2022-12-02 “Our ToBRFV-resistant variety has been preferred by our producers in wide areas since 2020"
- 2022-12-01 96% of pepper crops in Almeria and Granada use biological control against pests
- 2022-11-30 UV lamps can control strawberry pests
- 2022-11-28 Bio-Chain project to develop greener solutions for Chinese vegetables
- 2022-11-28 ToLCNDV emerges in China
- 2022-11-28 “Significantly better results with new Iron fertilizers”
- 2022-11-25 Less concerns about the ToBRFV virus this year in Sicily
- 2022-11-25 Growers can use a test kit to detect ToBRFV before plants even shows signs
- 2022-11-24 “With PATS-C we are more timely aware of an infestation”
- 2022-11-18 ADAMA recognized with crop science award for Araddo
- 2022-11-16 Belgian tomato grower raided on suspicion of using prohibited ToBRFV vaccine
- 2022-11-10 "Air pollution threatens natural pest control"
- 2022-11-08 Colored sticky traps for monitoring phytophagous thrips and their impact on beneficial insects
- 2022-11-08 UV light trap catches male and female tomato looper
- 2022-11-07 Asperello gains approval in Denmark and Morocco
- 2022-11-04 "It's really hard to manage this disease"
- 2022-11-03 "ToBRFV also plays 'a big role' in tomato supply disruption"
- 2022-11-01 AMVAC and NewLeaf Symbiotics partner to bring biological solutions to North American crop markets
- 2022-10-27 "Complete package of natural products for all tomato cultivation stages"