ERODE: After papaya, it is now mulberry that has come under mealy bug attack. And the attack has left silkworm rearing units in a fix.

Rapid rises in temperatures worldwide may overwhelm farmers' efforts to keep up, say experts who want funds to breed new crops and freeze heat-resistant strains bred over past centuries.

A Stanford University study to be published on Friday estimates that African growing seasons for the continent's staple foods -- maize, millet and sorghum -- will be hotter in nine out of 10 years by 2050.

US scientists are trying to develop wheat strains resistant to a fungus that has spread from Africa to Iran, and is likely to show up soon in India and Pakistan. The 'Ug99' fungus, also known as 'stem rust', is likely to spread world-wide, either through windblown spores or carried inadvertently by people, food industry analysts said.

Brazil is set to begin commercial planting of a soybean variety with a gene that makes it resistant to the devastating Asian rust fungus, which is beginning to develop tolerance to conventional fungicides.

Local growers could markedly reduce production costs if the new variety, which was developed by the Fundacao MT in Brazil's No. 1 soybean state of Mato Grosso, proves effective.

AHMEDABAD: The prosopis juliflora better known as gando baval, which is claimed to have destroyed the Banni grassland in Kutch has been marked an invasive alien species on the occasion of International Biodiversity Day on Friday.

Many governments are ignoring alien invasive species such as weeds or rats that may be causing $1.4 trillion damage a year to the world economy, the head of the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP) said on Friday.

JORHAT, May 17: The Department of Entomology, Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat, is organizing a national-level workshop on biological control of crop pests and weeds on May 29 and 30 at the University. This was informed by Dr A Basit, Principal Scientist, AICRP on bio-control and organizing secretary of the workshop.

Farmers will have three weeks to apply for $50 million in land stewardship funding to help pay the cost of converting to organic production, said the U.S. Agriculture Department on Tuesday.

Kalpesh Damor & Siddharth Kalhans / Ahmadabad/ Lucknow May 6, 2009, 0:53 IST

Reasons: Pest attack, adverse climate, global recession

KOHIMA, May 5: Warmer summers and increase in the number of pests like locusts in the fields and mosquitos in urban areas may be a pointer that climate change has already arrived in Nagaland.
During July-September many places in the state witnessed locusts invading localities in the evenings when lights were switched on, while farmers said swarms were destroying their standing crops.