* As Yemen Food Crisis Deteriorates, UN Agencies Appeal for Urgent Assistance to Avert a Catastrophe | FAO
10 February 2017, Sana’a – The number of food insecure people in Yemen has risen by 3 million in seven months, with an estimated 17.1 million people now struggling to feed themselves, according to a joint assessment by three UN agencies.
Of the 17.1 million food insecure people, about 7.3 million are considered to be in need of emergency food assistance.
Canada’s farmers aren’t likely to see less competition for their crop chemical dollars if the owner of Adama Canada buys Syngenta, the Canadian antitrust watchdog has ruled.
The Competition Bureau on Tuesday issued a “no action” letter for the takeover of Syngenta by China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina), saying the deal is “unlikely to result in a substantial lessening or prevention of competition for the supply of pesticides in Canada.”
Even in cases where Syngenta and ChemChina’s Adama arm have competing products on the Canadian market, the bureau said its investigation shows there would still be “sufficient competition from existing or new products to constrain prices.”
Beijing | Reuters — As many as 79 people died from H7N9 bird flu in China last month, the government said, stoking worries that the spread of the virus this season could be the worst on record.
January’s fatalities were up to four times higher than the same month in past years, and brought the total H7N9 death toll to 100 people since October, data from the National Health and Family Planning Commission showed late on Tuesday.
Authorities have repeatedly warned the public to stay alert for the virus, and cautioned against panic in the world’s second-largest economy.
* Crop destroying Caterpillar Rapidly Spreading Across Africa; Maize Production Endangered | AgroNews
New research announced by scientists at CABI (Center for Agriculture and Bioscience Information) confirms that a recently introduced crop-destroying armyworm caterpillar is now spreading rapidly across Mainland Africa and could spread to tropical Asia and the Mediterranean in the next few years, becoming a major threat to agricultural trade worldwide.
Fall armyworm is native to North and South America and can devastate maize production, the staple food crop that is essential for food security in large areas of Africa. It destroys young plants, attacking their growing points and burrowing into the cobs.
An indigenous pest in the Americas, it has not previously been established outside the region. In the past year, it was found in parts of West Africa for the first time and now a UK based CABI-led investigation has confirmed it to be present in Ghana. It can be expected to spread to the limits of suitable African habitat within a few years.
* Despite Few Taste Genes, Honey Bees Seek Out Essential Nutrients Based on Floral Resources | ScienceDaily
Despite having few taste genes, honey bees are fine-tuned to know what minerals the colony may lack and proactively seek out nutrients in conjunction with the season when their floral diet varies.
This key finding from a new study led by Tufts University scientists sheds light on limited research on the micronutrient requirements of honey bees, and provides potentially useful insight in support of increased health of the bee population, which has declined rapidly in recent years for a variety of complex reasons.
UK Scientists, in collaboration with groups in Europe and the US, have discovered why the green peach aphid (Myzus persicae) is one of the most destructive pests to many of our most important crops. Their research will inform industry and research programmes to support pest control and aid global food security.
Unlike most plant-colonising insects, which have adapted to live on a small range of closely related plants, green peach aphids can colonise over four hundred plant species. Developing resistance to over 70 different pesticides, coupled with the ever changing climate affecting crop losses in the EU and UK, the pest wreaks havoc on crop yields.
The green peach aphid transmits over a hundred different plant viruses and this notorious insect feeds on essential crops such as oilseed rape, sugar beet, tomato and potato, as well as wild plant species, which may serve as sources of the plant viruses. An example being the Turnip yellows virus (TuYV) and related viruses, which if left uncontrolled can reduce yields of multiple crops, such as oilseed rape and sugar beet, by up to 30%, rendering some crops unprofitable in the UK.
10 February 2017, Rome/Ouagadougou – The International Year of Pulses (IYP) has helped raise awareness globally of the many benefits of pulses, and boosted knowledge sharing and partnerships, but gains must be further strengthened to achieve the international community’s Sustainable Development Goals. That was the message from the Year’s official closing ceremony, hosted by Burkina Faso with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
“It is essential to maintain the momentum,” said FAO’s Deputy Director-General Maria-Helena Semedo at today’s ceremony. “Training programmes on the value of pulses should be supported, particularly for schoolchildren, farmers and extension workers. Policies and programmes should focus more on pulse producers, particularly small-holder farmers and young people,” she said.
Burkina Faso’s President, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, said: “To better cope with the triple problem of soil fertility management, reducing the adverse effects of climate change and the issue of food security, producing and consuming pulses is a great opportunity, especially for the most vulnerable people.”
* Mitsui Chemicals Agro acquires 10% stake in Belchim Crop Protection-Agricultural news-Agropages.com
Japanese company Mitsui Chemicals Agro, Inc. (MCAG) has acquired a 10% stake in the Belgian company Belchim Crop Protection (Londerzeel). Until now the two firms have been collaborating on the registration and commercialisation of certain MCAG products in a gradually increasing number of countries in Europe. Belchim Crop Protection has been successfully contributing resources, regulatory know-how and sales expertise.
Lengthy development cycles, increased regulatory demands and costs and market changes are difficulties that agrochemical companies encounter. That is why both parties have intensified their mutually-beneficial cooperation in development, registration, commercialisation and sales of agrochemicals.
Nissan Chemical Reported Consolidated Financial Results of Its Agrochemical Business Increased by 8.1% to 28,240 Million Yen for the Nine Months Ended December 31, 2016. Operating income fell by 1.4% to 4,850 million yen. But, the sales and the operating income were above the company’s third quarter outlook (undisclosed).
The company said their products had weak sales as a whole, but “ROUNDUP MAXLOAD AL”, herbicide for general household, expanded in Japan and its veterinary pharmaceutical Fluralaner had healthy sales.
The company forecast the sales of pesticide for domestic market, main products of its Agricultural Chemicals segment, tend to be concentrated on the fourth quarter due to seasonality.
* Researchers Discover a New Link to Fight Billion-Dollar Threat to Soybean Production: Scientists Show That Parasitic Nematodes Hijack Vascular Stem Cell Pathways to Attack Their Hosts | ScienceDaily
Invisible to the naked eye, cyst nematodes are a major threat to agriculture, causing billions of dollars in global crop losses every year. A group of plant scientists, led by University of Missouri researchers, recently found one of the mechanisms cyst nematodes use to invade and drain life-sustaining nutrients from soybean plants. Understanding the molecular basis of interactions between plants and nematodes could lead to the development of new strategies to control these major agricultural pests and help feed a growing global population.
Soybeans are a major component for two-thirds of the world’s animal feed and more than half the edible oil consumed in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Cyst nematodes jeopardize the healthy production of this critical global food source by “hijacking” the soybean plants’ biology.
“Cyst nematodes are one of the most economically devastating groups of plant-parasitic nematodes worldwide,” said Melissa Goellner Mitchum, a researcher in the Bond Life Sciences Center and an associate professor in the Division of Plant Sciences at MU. “These parasites damage root systems by creating a unique feeding cell within the roots of their hosts and leeching nutrients out of the soybean plant. This can lead to stunting, wilting and yield loss for the plant. We wanted to explore the pathways and mechanisms cyst nematodes use to commandeer soybean plants.”
Scientists at the John Innes Centre, Norwich have published new evidence that plant tissues can have a preferred direction of growth and that this characteristic is essential for producing complex plant shapes.
The work, carried out by Dr Alexandra Rebocho and colleagues in Professor Enrico Coen’s laboratory, contributes a new piece to the puzzle of how plant shapes are formed, and could have wide implications on our understanding of shape formation, or ‘morphogenesis’, in nature. Improved understanding of how genes influence plant shape formation could inform research into crop performance and lead to better-adapted, higher yield crop varieties.
The pioneering research, published in eLife, required an integrative approach, using diverse techniques including computer modelling, 3D-imaging, fluorescence imaging and a range of genetic techniques.