APHIS Seeks Comments on Draft Pest Risk Assessment for Potato Tubers for Consumption from the United Kingdom

The government of the United Kingdom has asked USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to authorize the importation of potato tubers for consumption into the continental United States.  APHIS has drafted a pest risk assessment that lists potential pests likely to remain on the commodity upon importation if no mitigations are applied.

APHIS shares draft pest risk assessments to determine whether stakeholders have information that might lead us to revise the draft assessment before we identify pest mitigations and proceed with official rulemaking. Continue reading

APHIS Restricts the Entry of European Cherry Fruit Fly (Rhagoletis cerasi) Host Commodities from Canada into the United States

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is implementing restrictions for the importation of European cherry fruit fly (ECFF) host commodities from Canada into the United States. APHIS is taking this action in response to multiple detections of ECFF in the province of Ontario, Canada.

To prevent the introduction of ECFF into the United States, APHIS is prohibiting entry of fresh fruit of the following commodities from Ontario, Canada: black cherry (Prunus serotina), mahaleb cherry (P. mahaleb), sour cherry (P. cerasus), and sweet cherry (P. avium). Wild Prunus spp. and Lonicera spp. fruits are also hosts and therefore prohibited. APHIS is also requiring that imports of these commodities from a Canadian province other than Ontario must have their origin verified.  Origin may be verified by shipping documents (such as bill of lading) or other proof of origin acceptable to APHIS. Continue reading

APHIS Extends Comment Period for Chrysanthemum Plants for Planting Pest List

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is considering removing import restrictions on chrysanthemum plants for planting. Chrysanthemums are currently regulated for Puccinia horaria, also known as chrysanthemum white rust (CWR).

To better understand which pests might enter the continental United States if we remove import restrictions on CWR hosts, APHIS has prepared a commodity pest list available for comment titled: Importations of Chrysanthemum Cuttings and In vitro Plantlets for Propagation from Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia and Vietnam into the Continental United States. The list contains 44 U.S. quarantine pests found in 20 countries identified as potential sources of cuttings and in vitro plantlets of Chrysanthemum spp. and synonymous genera. Continue reading

APHIS Expands the Asian Citrus Psyllid (Diaphorina citri) Quarantined Area in Arizona

Effectively immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), in cooperation with the Arizona Department of Agriculture (ADA) and the Arizona citrus industry, is expanding the area quarantined for the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) to include all counties in Arizona. APHIS is taking this action in response to the ADA Director’s Administrative Order (DAO 16-01) implementing a statewide ACP quarantine.

APHIS is applying safeguarding measures on the interstate movement of regulated articles from Arizona. This action is necessary to prevent the spread of ACP to non-infested areas of the United States. The specific changes to the regulated areas in Arizona are attached and can also be found at:

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant-health/citrus-greening

APHIS will publish a notice of this change in the Federal Register.

Eradication Program Announces 2017 Plans for Fighting the Asian Longhorned Beetle in New York, Massachusetts, and Ohio

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), together with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the Ohio Department of Agriculture, is announcing plans for the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) eradication efforts taking place in 2017.  APHIS and its partners have been making steady progress towards the eradication of this destructive tree pest since its detection in New York in 1996.

“The goal is to eliminate this non-native, tree-killing pest, from the United States,” said Josie Ryan, APHIS’ national operations manager for the Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program.  “We are confident that we can remove the beetle using the strategies we have available to us.” Continue reading

APHIS Adds Kane, Kendall, LaSalle, and Will Counties, Illinois, to the Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar) Regulated Area

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is adding Kane, Kendall, LaSalle, and Will Counties in Illinois to the list of regulated areas for the gypsy moth (GM). The GM population in each of these counties has reached the threshold to trigger the regulated area.

To prevent the further spread of GM, the attached Federal Order establishes Kane, Kendall, LaSalle, and Will Counties in Illinois as regulated areas. Effective immediately, all interstate movement of GM-regulated articles from Kane, Kendall, LaSalle, and Will Counties must be handled in accordance with the attached Federal Order. Illinois has established a parallel state quarantine. Continue reading

Citrus canker regulation dropped; helps with exports

In Southeast Farm Press

The European Union has dropped its requirement that U.S. groves be surveyed for citrus canker, which eases entry of U.S. citrus into the EU market.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative have worked with EU officials over the last 10 years to ensure that the EU’s plant health requirements for citrus are based on scientifically-established risks, according to a joint statement May 3 by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Acting U.S. Trade Representative Stephen Vaughn. Continue reading