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Wheat Blast: Earth observation and climate forecasts for risk management

Wheat Blast (Magnaporthe oryzae Triticum or ‘MOT’) is a plant disease of global concern, threatening crop production and biosecurity. Known to favour humid, warmer climates, the disease is a severe problem in Bangladesh and South America. However, the consequences of climate change pose the risk of the disease infecting other wheat-growing areas. Coupled with its ability to spread rapidly through the air and seeds, Wheat Blast’s devastating effects and limited control options are leading to heavy yield losses and it is now a threat to global food security. This project brings together a project consortium, formed of experts in Earth observation, remote sensing, pest and disease modelling, datasets and information dissemination to produce Wheat Blast risk maps and actionable advice as part of a framework. The framework will be used by key stakeholders as part of a targeted management approach to the disease.

BioSpace: Using space-enabled remote sensing for long term sustainable growth of biopesticide use

Pests and diseases cause significant losses of crops around the world and are a significant threat to food security. In China and Laos, locusts affect over two million hectares of agricultural land and recently, the fall armyworm is becoming prevalent in China and Southeast Asia, already affecting 35,000 hectares of maize in Laos. Due to a lack of detailed information on where risks to crops are greatest and farmers using inappropriate and ineffective control measures, managing the damage from pests can be problematic.

Remote sensing use for mapping Parthenium in Pakistan

It is projected that food demand will more than double by 2050 due to climate changes. Food security in Pakistan is particularly reliant on its ability to produce wheat and rice, however, an invasive species of weed, the “Famine Weed” (Parthenium hysterophorus), has been identified as a critical threat to agriculture and human prosperity in Pakistan.