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Stemming the spread of Russian olive

Russian olive is a significant invasive weed in North America but is perceived as a useful and attractive tree by some stakeholders. It is especially a problem in western parts of the USA where it affects many natural habitats, altering the ecosystem and its functions. Biological control is a useful approach in such circumstances because scientists can look for natural enemies that damage reproduction, and thus future spread, without damaging established trees.

Improving the rational use of pesticides for locusts in China

Agriculture is very important to China and chemical pesticides are often used to control their associated pests. Biopesticides, which have a low impact on surrounding plants and the environment can be used instead and China wants to switch over to them. Using CABI’s expertise, this project uses Earth Observation (EO) and other data to build a prototype system that provides information on locust control in China.

Building capacity for directly planted rice

As a very important crop in India, the growing of rice and tackling pests and diseases is given lots of attention. Rice that’s planted directly into the field cuts effort and water consumption but increases the likelihood of pest damage. Our aim therefore is to develop a sustainable and scalable system of plant health management, especially for directly planted seedlings, to encourage an irrigation-economy for rice production.

LEGATO: rice ecosystem services

As a staple food crop in South East Asia, rice is a key driver of the countries’ economies and essential to the diets and livelihoods of the billions of people who live here. We are involved in a five-year project that aims to measure the interdependence of ecosystem functions and services generated by long-term, intensive, irrigated rice fields here.

Controlling the invasive blackberry on the Galápagos Islands

The unique wildlife and farmland on the Galapagos Islands are threatened with a non-native invasive weed. The invasive blackberry now covers around 30,000 hectares and can grow up to 3 metres tall. CABI scientists are searching for potential biocontrol agents from the Asian native range of the blackberry to introduce here.

Increasing rice production around the Mekong

Rice is the most important crop in southwestern China, Laos and Myanmar. Despite recent improvements, productivity is still low with millions of tons lost to pests, diseases and weeds. Intensive pesticide use has led to insecticide resistance, outbreaks of secondary pests and damage to farmers’ health. This project is introducing a biologically based pest management approach to safely and sustainably increase rice production, improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in the region.