Barley stem gall midge outbreak, is climate change to blame?

February 1, 2012 at 9:05 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Barley plant infested with stem gall midge

Global warming has brought crop pests to new areas where several years ago they were not a problem for farmers.  For example, the cereal leaf miner, formerly a secondary pest in Central and West Asia and North Africa, is now major economic threat to wheat and barley in Jordan, Iraq and Syria. The barley stem gall midge is another new arrival. It was mostly present in North Africa. But since 2009, outbreaks in Syria have also been recorded; probably due to higher temperatures during winter months. The higher the number of days with freezing temperatures, the greater the possibility that midge adults, eggs and larvae will die in winter.

A Syria-ICARDA research project is studying the biology of the pest, its natural enemies, characterization of populations using molecular techniques and screening for resistance. Other studies by ICARDA researchers are using the innovative Focused Identification of Germplasm Strategy (FIGS) to mine genebank collections more precisely to identify potentially resistant plant traits.

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  1. Of course climate change is to blame, climate change causes everything. It used to be due to pesticide use, not anymore, it was never really pesticides.

    Pesticide use is soooo 1999.

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