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How to save olives from destructive diseases


Plant pathogens, or disease-causing viruses, bacteria and fungi could lead to significant losses in agricultural yields, and threaten food security and ecosystem integrity. Between 2012 and 2017, the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa (Xf) severely damaged large orchards covering 538 km2, equivalent to about 6.5 million olive trees in Apulia, southern Italy, according to data by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC). At the 2nd European conference on Xf organised jointly by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and several partners of the EU-funded POnTE project, Dr. Pieter Beck of the JRC said the information was collected using Sentinel-2 satellite data and was supported by weather data. His presentation is shown in a video. Quoted in a news item in "Eurasia Review' covering the conference, Dr. Beck explained that employing satellite data in such a manner "can help assess the extent of the damage Xylella is causing" as well as "inform the decisions for adaptation in areas where it is established."

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