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Genetically engineered crops help support conservation biological control

February 15th, 2019 / Biological Control, Netherlands

Genetically engineered (GE) crops producing insecticidal proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) (mainly Cry proteins) have become a major control tactic for a number of key lepidopteran and coleopteran pests, mainly in maize, cotton, and soybean. As with any management tactic, there is concern that using GE crops might cause adverse effects on …

Pheromone-based pest control could be the wonderful future of agriculture

August 7th, 2018 / Green Optimistic

Conventional insecticides are extremely harmful to the farmer, pollinating insects, and consumers ( residue on fruits and vegetables). Therefore, the world is looking for an alternative, safer way to protect the plants from pest insects. One of them is pheromones .
One of the most promising methods is mating disruption by …

FAO launches guide to tackle Fall Armyworm in Africa head-on

February 19th, 2018 / Reliefweb

Faced with the infestation of millions of hectares of maize, most in the hands of smallholder farmers, and the relentless spread of Fall Armyworm (FAW) across most of Africa, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched today a comprehensive guide on the integrated pest management of the FAW on …

Controlling rats on small-scale African farms is vital for food security

August 3rd, 2017 / The Conversation

Recent analysis suggests that Africa will only be able to achieve food security if it invests in crop intensification like increased fertiliser and pesticide input per hectare. But the expansion of agricultural production areas can also improve this.
A complicating factor in African agriculture is that most of the production comes …

Modified maize that kills with RNA is given go-ahead in the US

June 30th, 2017 / New Scientist, UK

For the first time, a crop that produces an RNAi-based pesticide has got the green light.
The US Environmental Protection Agency has approved a genetically modified corn known as SmartStax Pro. In addition to producing two Bt toxins to kill any western corn rootworm larvae that try to eat it, the …

Onions stop tomato aphids attack

February 21st, 2017 / FarmBiz Africa

In cutting down pesticide application and the accruing costs in production, one farmer succeeded in vending off the pests by growing onions around his greenhouse tomatoes in the last season.
Lari Sub-county farmer Nathan Kimeu was implementing an idea he learnt from the Internet that onions’ smell can repel some crop …

RNA clay offers green alternative to plant pesticides

January 27th, 2017 / SciDev.net, UK

A nano-sized bio-degradable clay-comprising double stranded ribonucleic acid (dsRNA) could offer a cost-effective, clean and green alternative to chemical-based plant pesticides.
Australian researchers from the University of Queensland have successfully used a gene-silencing spray, named BioClay, a combination of biomolecules and clay, to protect tobacco plants from a virus for 20 …

Common insecticides are riskier than thought to predatory insects

December 14th, 2016 / Phys.org

Neonicotinoids—the most widely used class of insecticides—significantly reduce populations of predatory insects when used as seed coatings, according to researchers at Penn State. The team’s research challenges the previously held belief that neonicotinoid seed coatings have little to no effect on predatory insect populations. In fact, the work suggests that …

Talking Biotech: Current pest control strategies increasingly focused, less toxic, and work

September 28th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The topic of “pesticides” is the new frontier in the opposition to agricultural biotechnology. Opponents of the technology blame new genetic improvement methods for perceived increases in chemical controls for plant, animal and fungal pests. However, scientists argue that our pest control strategies are increasingly focused, less toxic, and …

Citrus farmers eye juicy future

June 29th, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa

Citrus farmers in Kenya and Tanzania are set to benefit from a project that seeks to embrace alternative pest control methods and identifying suitable areas for its plantation, a move key in spurring citrus farming at a time when demand has failed to match supply leading to imports. Read …