Pick Up

265. Sugarcane White Leaf Disease Control Technical Manual

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The damage caused by pests is one of the major factors for the decline in agricultural production. Decrease in crop and livestock production does not only affect the income of farmers but also the agricultural sector and the economy as a whole through the value chain. From 2008 to 2018, pests are said to have caused economic losses worth 9.8 billion USD (9% of all disasters).

Some pests that impede crop production can move across national borders and cause damage. For pests that move and disperse over a wide area, it is not enough to control in one country alone, and it is necessary to work on control in cooperation with neighboring countries. JIRCAS has been engaged in international joint research on cross-border pests, and this Pick Up has also introduced research on desert locust, fall armyworm, brown planthopper, soybean rust, and rice blast.

This time, we will report on the development of control technology for sugar cane white leaf disease. Sugarcane white leaf disease is an important insect-borne disease of sugarcane that causes great damage in the Asian region mainly in Thailand, which is the world's second largest sugar exporter. The pathogen is phytoplasma, which dies after bleaching of the leaves (photo). Currently, there is no effective treatment after infection. In the outbreak areas, there are some fields where the morbidity rate reaches almost 100% and harvesting becomes impossible. Thailand is Japan's second largest sugar importer after Australia, and the effects of pests can also affect sugar supply to Japan.

JIRCAS has been conducting research with a joint research institute in Thailand to develop control technology for sugarcane white leaf disease. This time, the results so far have been compiled into a manual in Thai and English versions and published by the Office of Cane and Sugar Board of Thailand. Some of the technologies described in this manual are already being used by local sugar factories and groups of producers. With the publication of this manual, it is expected that the damage caused by sugarcane white leaf disease will be reduced in Asian countries especially in Thailand by further spreading this technology.

Reference

Thai version (Website of the Office of Cane and Sugar Board of Thailand): 
http://www.ocsb.go.th/upload/journal/fileupload/12685-6745.pdf

English version (Website of the Office of Cane and Sugar Board of Thailand): 
http://www.ocsb.go.th/upload/journal/fileupload/12686-3399.pdf

Contributor: KOBORI Youichi (Crop, Livestock and Environment Division)