Fungal Biblical Like Plague Killing Crops Across the World

fungal-plague

Current News 2016:  Fungus is Wiping Out Crops!!!!

And It Appears to be Evolving and More Deadly

Fungus Could Wipe Out Bananas in 5-10 Yrs  (8-16) “Scientists have sequenced the genomes of three fungal diseases that currently threaten banana crops, and found something disturbing – the fungi have evolved to the point where they could wipe out the most popular banana crops in five to 10 years.”

Fungus Threatens Cacao Plants  (3-16)  “A fungal disease that poses a serious threat to cacao plants—the source of chocolate—reproduces by cloning, a new study finds.The study shows that M. roreri generates billions of spores that destroy cocoa pods by cloning.”

More than 12,000 Avocado Trees Dead from Fungus  (8-16) “These trees died from laurel wilt, a fungal disease spread by foreign, microscopic ambrosia beetles. Once infected, the tree, in hopes of saving itself, begins to wall itself off from the fungus and ends up actually killing itself,” said Charles LaPradd, the county’s agriculture manager. This is where the dogs come in they sniff out the deadly fungus, letting scientists know which trees are sick.”

Fungus Destroying Coffee Crops  (8-16)“Mexico’s best season ever in the history of coffee production was 1999-2000, when growers harvested 6.2 million sacks. But production is now running at less than half that as the roya fungus continues to spread with a devastating effect on a crop that is grown primarily by small producers.The fungus, also known as coffee leaf rust, was reported as early as the 1980s but it was in 2012 when the damage became widespread, severely impacting national production.” Coffee Could Be Extinct by 2080   

White Mold Destroying Soybean Crops (8-16) “The disease is caused by a fungus that can spread easily to other plants through the moldy tissue. “As the beans are maturing you’re really starting to see the pockets where the fungus is because they’re actually maturing quicker and faster. White mold can leave a devastating impact on a farmer’s crop production.“It’s going to hurt our yield,” said Stadheim. “The hot pockets we see out in the fields will probably produce 30% less beans than what they would have had if they didn’t have white mold.”

Aflatoxin in Cereal Killed 14 People (8-16)  “The contaminated cereals that killed 14 people came directly from household farms in the affected regions of Dodoma and Manyara. The majority of the people affected by aflatoxicosis died of liver failure. The US-based Center for Disease Control (CDC) has isolated the most poisonous and cancer-causing substance known as Aflatoxin B1 from blood samples taken from victims. This type of aflatoxin damages the liver, according to medical sources.”

Fungal Toxins Poisoning Children in Africa  (2-16) “Children in Africa and parts of Asia are falling victim to an “invisible” epidemic—fungal toxins in food that can stunt their growth and delay their development. The two main toxins, aflatoxin and fumonisin, are present in dangerously high levels in groundnuts, cassava, and corn, which make up the bulk of children’s diets from Benin to Kenya. The toxins have long been known to cause liver cancer and, in high enough concentrations, death. Six recent studies that show that children with high levels of toxin biomarkers in their blood are shorter and weigh less than other children their age. They also grow at a slower pace than their peers. Preliminary studies suggest the effects may have something to do with immune system activation and the way the body absorbs nutrients.”

Kenyan Farmers Find Yield Reducing Fungus on Corn Farms  (8-16) “We are monitoring to see the fungal disease doesn’t spread.” The East African country already expects a 12 percent drop in production this year. The Cereal Growers Association, said it was awaiting an assessment of the infestation before determining any impact on production. Potential losses are worse when young seedlings are infected.“My greater worry is for the next season, if these head smut pores remain in the soil,” CGA Chief Executive Officer Anthony Kioko said by phone. “Depending on infestation, head smut can destroy between 30 percent and 50 percent of corn production.”

Australia Seeing Severe Fungal Infection with Canola  (8-16) “A combination of factors has led to severe early infection of blackleg disease in this year’s canola crops in southern Australia. Oilseeds disease authority Dr Steve Marcroft, of Marcroft Grains Pathology, says high levels of leaf lesions have been detected in some crops, with the heavy colonisation of blackleg fungus causing leaves to die. A combination of the three factors – wet weather, breakdown of cultivar resistance and possible fungicide resistance – was responsible for this year’s early disease situation. “When you put those three things together, it’s probably no wonder we have very severe disease in 2016.”

Fungal Disease Activity Picking up in Grapes  (6-16)Disease symptoms are becoming more apparent. Continued monitoring and preventive fungicide sprays are advised to protect developing fruit after fruit set.”

Devastating Wheat Fungus Appears in Asia for First Time  (4-16)  “Bangladeshi officials are burning government-owned wheat fields to contain the fungus, and telling farmers not to sow seeds from infected plots. The BARI hopes to identify wheat varieties that are more tolerant of the fungus and agricultural practices that can keep it at bay, such as crop rotation and seed treatment.  It is unknown how wheat blast got to Bangladesh. One possibility is that a wheat-infecting strain was brought in from South America, says Nick Talbot, a plant pathologist at the University of Exeter, UK. Another is that an M. oryzae strain that infects south Asian grasses somehow jumped to wheat, perhaps triggered by an environmental shift: that is what happened in Kentucky, when a rye-grass strain infected wheat.”

Norwegians Worst Crisis to Hit Strawberry Fields  (7-16)“We’ve never seen anything like this,” Roger Utengen, a director of major fruit and vegetable wholesaler Bama, told news bureau NTB over the weekend. “There has never been so much damage to the strawberry crop as what we’re seeing right now.”  Norwegians are fiercely proud of their locally grown strawberries, which have a firm place on summer tables, but berry growers are warning this year of the worst crisis ever to hit their crops. Farmers often receive state compensation for crops lost to weather problems, but not for fungus attacks, he said, urging insurance companies, the industry and the state to jointly finance a study of resistance patterns and find the cause of this year’s fungus.”

Germany’s Organic Vineyards Hit  (8-16)In the heart of German wine country in Hesse and the Palatinate, some vintners feel their existence is under threat. Fungus sparks debate over chemicals. Since potassium phosphonate – the treatment previously used by organic winegrowers to fight downy mildew – was classified as an agricultural chemical in 2013, organic winegrowers are reduced to fighting the fungus with a copper preparation.”

Fungus Causing Oranges to Drop Early  (4-16) “A fungal disease is affecting all types of orange trees statewide right now. It’s called PFD, or post bloom fruit drop. The fungus causes oranges to fall off prematurely. El Niño weather patterns that brought rainy, foggy days this winter helped spread the disease.”

Heavy Rains Cause Tomato Fungus  (6-16) “Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service pest management specialist Jackie Lee says late blight has been found in 14 counties in central Arkansas. Three plants are typically seen each year with the disease, but 20 infected plants have been diagnosed this year.”

France Wet Crops Lead to Fungus (6-16)  “Parts of France got the most rainfall since 1959, according to crops office FranceAgriMer. Wet weather means crops are more prone to fusarium, a fungus that can produce mycotoxins in grains and affect human and animal health. There’s also a greater chance of septoria, a fungus that produces small oval- to diamond-shaped spots on leaves.”

Gene Mapping is the New Hope to Save Barley Plants (8-16) “ Ramularia collo-cygni fungus lives inside growing barley plants with no ill effect until after the barley flowers or becomes stressed. It is then, with the swelling of the barley grains, that the fungus attacks its host with toxins, just at a time when we can do little about it. However, it is only within the last 30 years that the disease has become a significant problem for farmers growing barley for the brewing, distilling and feed markets as it affects both yield and grain quality. We found very few genes that produce enzymes able to degrade plant cell walls, explained Dr McGrann. This might be associated with the way the fungus stealthily avoids detection by the plant’s defences but is then able to turn and attack its host.”

Engineering Genes To Prevent Blight  (4-16) “Potato and tomato blight is a disease caused by a fungus-like organism. Professor Jonathan Jones from TSL said: Engineering disease resistance genes into crops is a continuous battle to stay one step ahead of new strains of disease, and scientists are constantly investigating how to speed up this process.”

Shipments Being Suspended, New Fungus Standards Being Set

Kiwifruit Fungus Suspends Exports  (8-16) “New Zealand has suspended its lucrative kiwifruit exports to China after authorities there say that on some shipments they found a type of fungus that can cause the fruit to rot.”

Egypt Says Zero Tolerance on Ergot Fungus on Wheat  (8-16) “Egypt has decided to halt wheat imports if shipments contains any percentage of the ergot fungus, the agriculture ministry said on Sunday. Agriculture Minister Essam Fayed issued a decision on Sunday that reverses an earlier decision to accept a 0.05 percent of the fungus, the internationally respected limit, in its grain imports, the ministry said in an emailed statement. Upon the new decision, Egypt, the world’s biggest wheat importer, will have a zero-tolerance policy for the presence of the fungus in its imported wheat.”

Canola Fungus New Standards Set by China (9-16)  “Some Canadian farmers are edgy and for good reasons. China is threatening to buy canola elsewhere if Canada is unwilling to fix its fungus issue with the crop. China intends to apply new inspection standards on Sept. 1 that may block Canadian exporters from selling canola to Chinese importers.”