USDA responds to China’s new soybean import tariff

In 2016, Chinese officials put in place a new grain import law to keep invasive weeds and other plant pests from entering their country. Last fall, they informed USDA that U.S. grain shipments, particularly soybeans, did not comply with the new law. They specifically cited increased detections of weed seeds.

These weed seeds threaten U.S. access to China’s grain market. If we do nothing, the United States may lose this valuable market. Consider: Approximately 1 of every 3 bushels of U.S. soybean are shipped to China, making it the United States’ largest market for this commodity. In 2017, this export was valued at $12.4 billion, which is approximately 91% by value of all grains shipped to China. Continue reading

APHIS Publishes Final Rule to Allow the Importation of Fresh Lemons from Chile into the Continental United States Under a Systems Approach

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is updating its regulations to allow the importation of fresh lemons (Citrus limon) from Chile under a systems approach.  The systems approach is a combination of prescribed measures that must be taken by Chilean growers, packers, and shippers to minimize the risk of importing Chilean false red mite (Brevipalpus chilensis) into the United States. Previously, APHIS only allowed the importation of Chilean lemons after they received an approved methyl bromide treatment to eliminate the pest risk. Continue reading

APHIS Seeks Comments on Pest Risk Assessment for Ugu Leaves from Nigeria for Consumption

The government of Nigeria has asked USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to authorize the importation of fresh Ugu leaves 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.  Continue reading

APHIS Seeks Comments on Pest Risk Assessment for Mangos from Panama for Consumption

The government of Panama has asked USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to authorize the importation of fresh mangos for consumption into the 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.  Continue reading

USDA Provides Almost $70 Million in Fiscal Year 2018 to Protect Agriculture and Plants from Pests and Diseases through the 2014 Farm Bill Section 10007

U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating almost $70 million from Section 10007 of the 2014 Farm Bill to support 494 projects in 49 states, Guam and Puerto Rico. These projects prevent the introduction or spread of invasive plant pests and diseases that threaten U.S. agriculture and the environment, as well as ensure the availability of a healthy supply of clean plant stock in the United States.

“Through the Farm Bill Section 10007, the USDA strengthens our nation’s ability to safeguard U.S. specialty crops, agriculture, and natural resources by putting innovative ideas into action,” said Under Secretary Ibach. “Getting these funds into the hands of our cooperators around the country helps us to keep U.S. plants, crops, and forests safe from invasive pests and diseases, enhances the marketability of our country’s products, and makes American agriculture and natural resources thrive.” Continue reading

APHIS Removes the Oriental Fruit Fly (Bactrocera dorsalis) Quarantine Area in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California

Effective January 17, 2018, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) removed the Oriental Fruit Fly (OFF) quarantine area in the Los Angeles area of Los Angeles County, California. Continue reading

APHIS Shares Updated Protocol for Interstate Movement of Citrus Nursery Stock from Quarantined Areas

Based on consultation with stakeholders, APHIS revised the protocol for interstate movement of citrus nursery stock. This protocol, originally published in 2013, contains standards and requirements that a nursery must meet in order to move citrus nursery stock interstate from areas quarantined for citrus canker, citrus greening (huanglongbing, HLB), and/or Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). A nursery would need to meet the standards and requirements to obtain a certificate or limited permit for the interstate movement of citrus nursery stock from areas quarantined for citrus canker, citrus greening, or ACP.

The revised protocol will be effective March 12, 2018. All nurseries shipping from an HLB-quarantine area will be required to ship under the provisions of the previous protocol until mother and increase trees have been tested by APHIS. The Citrus Health Response Program (CHRP) will accept the last state test of the mother tree as long as the test meets APHIS requirements and occurred within the last 12 months.  Mother trees must be tested according to APHIS instructions and in an APHIS-approved lab within 12 months to maintain eligibility for shipment. Continue reading