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APHIS Invites Public Comment on Measures to Promote the Conservation of the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is considering options for actions it can take to support the conservation of the southwestern willow flycatcher. This endangered bird nests and feeds in dense forests of willow and non-native saltcedar (tamarisk trees) along southwestern rivers. Continue reading

APHIS Story Map: Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

Check out the new APHIS story map about the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) – An interactive story map of the USDA’s history of combating the infestation and the continuing efforts to protect ash trees in the U.S. If your organization would like to partner with APHIS on EAB biological control efforts, please email EAB.Biocontrol.Program@aphis.usda.gov.

APHIS Adds Pale Cyst Nematode (Globodera pallida) Infested Field in Idaho

Effective October 10, 2018, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) added an 87-acre field to the pale cyst nematode (PCN) infested area in Bingham County, Idaho. APHIS took this action based on the confirmations of PCN cysts in soil samples from a potato production field in Bingham County received on September 25, 2018. This action brings the number of PCN-infested fields to 28 and the infested area to 3,130 acres.

Due to sharing of unwashed farm equipment and close proximity to this infested field, APHIS also placed an additional 93-acre field in Bingham County under regulation. In addition, APHIS made a geographic information system-based adjustment to the boundary of an associated field to improve accuracy of the regulated area map, which resulted in removing two acres under regulation in Bingham County. This brings the total regulated area in Idaho to 8,311 acres.  Continue reading

APHIS Removes the Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Ceratitis capitata) Quarantine Area in Half Moon Bay Area of San Mateo County, California

Effective October 4, 2018, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) removed the Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) quarantine in the Half Moon Bay area of San Mateo, California. Continue reading

APHIS Announces Schedule for Certifying Offshore Greenhouses That Will Ship Geranium Cuttings to the United States During the 2018-2019 Season

APHIS announced today that it will conduct annual certification visits in November and December to offshore facilities that wish to ship geranium (Pelargonium spp.) cuttings to the United States during the 2018-2019 season. During these visits, APHIS will confirm that the offshore facilities meet or exceed the “Minimum Sanitation Protocols for Offshore Geranium Cutting Production.”

APHIS must physically visit and certify all interested offshore facilities before December 31, 2018. Participating facilities must cover the full cost of these certification visits, including travel, salary, benefits, and overtime. The facilities will provide these funds through a trust fund established through a signed cooperative services agreement. Continue reading

Funding Available to Support Projects that Address Huanglongbing (Citrus Greening)

The Huanglongbing Multi-Agency Coordination group (HLB MAC) is accepting suggestions until November 1, 2018, for projects that will help develop near-term solutions for citrus producers facing huanglongbing (HLB, also known as citrus greening).  HLB MAC is focused on funding projects that have the greatest potential to keep HLB out of citrus that is currently free of the disease, help growers produce citrus under high HLB disease pressure, and remediate the impact of HLB.

Interested stakeholders are invited to submit project suggestions three times a year (by November 1, February 1, and June 1) as resources are available. All projects must be no more than 24 months in duration and must address one of the HLB MAC goal areas. Continue reading

APHIS Provides an Update on Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula (White)) Activities

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) provides this update of spotted lanternfly (SLF) activities in Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey, and Delaware. SLF feeds on more than 70 types of plants, including crops such as grapes, apples, hops, walnuts, and other hardwood trees. SLF suck sap from stems and leaves, damaging plants as they feed. APHIS and state cooperators continue to work together to assess the affected areas and implement a program response to detect, contain, and suppress SLF populations in order to reduce the pest’s spread. Continue reading