Forty FABIans from the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) and Grain Research programme (GRP) got their hands dirty replanting 200 pine and 1500 Eucalyptus seedlings into potting bags at the last tree planting event for 2020 on 27 November. Forestry companies who are members of the TPCP supplied the plants. These are central to the various research programmes under the FABI umbrella and are used for a number of experiments such as testing for resistance to different pathogens and insects as well as research on biological control. 

This year’s tree planting also included students from the GRP who harvested maize leaves. Maize is grown for use by the GRP members who run the Lepidopteran rearing facility. About 200 maize plants were harvested, and the leaves were removed from their stalks by MSc student Matthew Jackson. These leaves will now be dried out, and ground down into a fine powder. This will be used as the main feeding stimulant in an artificial diet for feeding both our Fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) and African maize Stalk borer (Busseola fusca) colonies at the rearing facility.