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Locating a biological control for tutsan in New Zealand

Tutsan, native to Europe, was introduced to New Zealand but is now a major invasive species. In 2011, CABI’s Swiss centre was approached by Landcare Research to investigate prospects for the biological control of tutsan. Surveys in the native range revealed a suite of insects and pathogens. CABI’s laboratories in the UK are currently conducting research on strains of the rust fungus, Melampsora hypericorum, from Europe to assess their potential to control tutsan populations in New Zealand.

Controlling noxious Russian knapweed in North America

Russian knapweed is one of several invasive plants of rangelands that arrived in North America as a seed contaminant in the 19th century, in this case from Asia. Biological control is often a good approach for these plants, but a nematode species introduced in the 1970s proved ineffective against Russian knapweed. Funded by a US and Canadian consortium, CABI has been tasked with researching new biological control agents for introduction, some of which are already showing promise.

Optimizing Fertilizer Recommendations in Africa (OFRA)

Soil fertility across much of sub-Saharan Africa is poor, which is a major constraint to improving farm productivity and farmer livelihoods. To combat this there is now wide recognition of the need to integrate increased fertilizer use with other aspects of soil fertility management. This project aims to contribute to improved efficiency and profitability of fertilizer use within the context of Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) practices.

Boosting coffee productivity in Kenya and Malawi

Although coffee is a high-value commodity and a major contributor to the economies of Kenya and Malawi, many smallholder producers remain poor because of low productivity. CABI scientists will help improve this situation by working with research institutions and assisting them to adopt modern tissue culture-based technologies to rapidly produce lots of seedlings.

CABI releases rust fungus to control invasive weed, Himalayan balsam