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HomeNewsLocal NewsThe Department of Agriculture Nevis identifies pest in sorrel and other plants

The Department of Agriculture Nevis identifies pest in sorrel and other plants

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by Eulana Weekes

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Mr Quincy Bart – Plant Health and Plant Quarantine Officer, advises the general public that the Department of Agriculture has seen evidence of a new type of pest specifically affecting sorrel and other related plants.

Bart informed, “I would just like to notify farmers and backyard farmers that we here at the Department of Agriculture identified a new type of pest that is prevalent in the Malvaceae family. When we’re talking about the Malvaceae family, we are talking about okra, sorrel, cotton; and also some of the Solanaceae family such as eggplant [and] sweet pepper.”

The Plant Health Officer explained that the pest in question is one of 20,000 leafhopper species identified worldwide.

“This pest is found to be a leafhopper. The leafhopper is a small pest and it is a sucking insect. This sucking insect serves as a vector for a virus that affects these host plants. So, the pest is pale green and it has flying capabilities. It is very, very prolific.

Collectively, the feeding by the pests may injure host plants in several ways, which include destroying chlorophyll.

“The signs and the symptoms of the pest [are] that it sucks the plant and it transmits a disease; and this disease can see crinkling of the leaves, yellow lesions of the leaves and necrotic lesions and it affects the yield significantly.”

Bart said once there are visible signs or evidence of the pest, contact the Department of Agriculture, which will then assess the situation and guide farmers and backyard gardeners on the best practices to control any pest infestation.

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