21 April 2017 – CABI co-organised a major scientific conference on maize insect pests with the Institute of Plant Protection of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) at their National Agricultural Library in Beijing last week (10-12 April 2017).

The 26th IWGO (International Working Group on Ostrinia and other maize pests) conference provided a valuable international platform for the exchange of research, experiences, and ideas on the integrated management of maize pests through the use of chemical, cultural, and biological control measures. IWGO is a global working group of the International Organisation of Biological Control (IOBC).

IWGO convenor, CABI’s Executive Director for Global Operations, Dr Ulrich Kuhlmann, gave a welcome address as did Dewen Qiu, Deputy Director General of the Institute of Plant Protection (IPP) of CAAS and Dongxing Feng, Director General, Department of International Collaboration of CAAS.

The programme featured 10 scientific sessions on a range of related topics with presentations given by leading experts in the field. CABI’s Dr Stefan Toepfer co-organised a session on the ecology of maize pests and CABI’s Dr Dirk Babendreier co-organised a session on biological control.


Pictured from left to right: Zhenying WANG (Co-Convenor IWGO), Dewen QIU, Deputy Director General of the Institute of Plant Protection (IPP) of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), Dongxing FENG, Director General, Department of International Collaboration of CAAS, Ulli KUHLMANN (Convenor IWGO) and Tom SAPPINGTON (Co-Convenor IWGO).  

“Maize pests are a serious problem for farmers across the world and CABI has been working to solve these problems for many years, considering in particular biological control based management options,” said Dr Kuhlmann. “For example we have carried out work to tackle pests such as Western Corn Rootworm in Europe and the Asian Corn Borer in the Greater Mekong Subregion.

“We were therefore pleased to help organise this year’s conference and were delighted with the exciting line up of presentations,” he added. “These set the scene for some interesting and valuable discussions. Sharing knowledge in this way helps the agricultural research community to address both current and future pest problems. For example, it is essential that we share our research results if we are to effectively address the problem of fall armyworm, a devastating maize pest which is currently spreading across Africa.”

Victor Clottey from CABI’s operation in Ghana delivered a keynote presentation on the spread and currently limited management options available to control this new invader in West Africa. The IOBC global working group launched a subgroup under IWGO focussing on the fall armyworm in Africa in recognition of its importance, which was similar to the response made to the western corn rootworm invasion in Europe in the 1990s.

Other IWGO conference organisers included the China Society of Plant Protection and the China MoA-CABI Joint Laboratory for Bio-safety.

For more information on the conference, click here

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