pests

Plants protect plants and triple yields in East Africa

More than 30,000 East African farmers are using plants to protect their corn (maize) crops from insect and weed attack. The crop protection strategy was developed by Kenyan and UK scientists.

Termed “Push-Pull’, it relies on strategically deploying attractive and repellent plants in alternating rows to control the growth of African witchweed and stemborer insects. These are the biggest threat to cereal crops in Sub-Saharan Africa. Stem borers often destroy 80% of a crop.

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Could your lawn, golf course or pasture make its own weedkiller?

IUPAC Symposium 4A – Natural Products, Tuesday 1:45PM – 3:00PM

Leslie Weston, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga

Leslie Weston has discovered and patented two weedkillers made by plants. Now she’s investigating Patterson’s curse to see what tricks it uses to invade grasslands and repel herbivores. Her vision is to use plants or plant extracts to control plants, as an alternative to synthetic pesticides and herbicides.

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Greening agricultural sprays

IUPAC Symposium 1A – Formulation: Efficacy and the Environment

Ingo Fleute-Schlachter, Cognis, Germany

Friendlier pesticides are on the way. Every pesticide contains an active ingredient. But there is more in the can. The formulation may need additives and adjuvants which boost performance: working as emuslifiers, wetters, dispersants, or sticking agents to deliver the pesticide to where it’s needed – the surfaces of leaves for example.

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New perfumes for bugs

IUPAC Symposium 4B – Natural Products, Tuesday 4pm

John Pickett, Rothamsted Research

John Pickett and his British colleagues are creating new kinds of perfumes or attractants for pest insects.

They’re employing farnesyl diphosphate—the ‘parent’ molecule  that insects use as the starting point for many chemical signals such as sex pheromones—to create new, more powerful attractants that will be cheaper and easier to make.

Use your spray smarter: save money and the environment

IUPAC Symposium 4B – Formulation, Efficacy and the Environment

Monday 4:30pm

Heping Zhu, United States Department of Agriculture

“Current label-recommended levels of pesticides for spray application technology, pest pressure and crop growth structure are vague, frequently resulting in excessive use of pesticide,” says Heping Zhu from the USDA in Ohio.

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