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Invasive tree conquers South

in Morning Ag Clips

The tallow tree, a “super invader” with toxic leaves and no natural enemies in North America, is conquering the South.

Overtaking forests from Texas to Florida, tallows grow three times faster than most native hardwoods, and each one casts off 100,000 seeds a year. Controlled burns haven’t stopped their spread, nor have herbicide sprays from helicopters. Cutting them down works only when each stump is immediately doused with chemicals. Harvesting them for biofuel remains more a promise than a practical solution. Continue reading

USDA Reminds Public: Don’t Move Wood Out of Areas Quarantined for Asian Longhorned Beetle

As colder weather approaches, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is reminding the public not to move wood out of areas quarantined for the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB). It is important that people follow state and federal regulations, which restricts the movement of woody material, to keep this tree-killing pest from spreading outside of quarantined areas, particularly in New York, Massachusetts, and Ohio.

“Preventing the spread of the Asian longhorned beetle to places outside of quarantined areas is critical to eliminating them from these three states, and we cannot do it without the help of residents and business owners in each state,” said Josie Ryan, APHIS’ National Operations Manager for the ALB Eradication Program. “As the weather gets colder and families begin using wood stoves and fireplaces, we are reminding the public to follow the regulations, especially when stocking up on firewood.” Continue reading

Free invasive plants tool kit for teachers

by Beverly James, University of Florida IFAS

Science and agriculture teachers across the nation now have a new tool to teach students about invasive plants, thanks to researchers with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

The Florida Invasive Plant Education Initiative at the UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants (CAIP) has partnered with The Aquatic Plant Management Society (APMS) to produce a 16- minute video presentation, “Silent Invaders,” for teachers to introduce students to the concepts of invasive aquatic plants and their management with examples from across the United States. “Silent Invaders” provides a basic introduction to invasive plants, along with the key concepts of aquatic versus terrestrial and also native, non-native and invasive plant species, said Dehlia Albrecht, UF’s Florida Invasive Plant Education Initiative coordinator. Continue reading

Scientists seek public assistance in tackling rose rosette disease

by Kathleen Phillips, Texas A&M AgriLife

Halfway through a five-year, $4.6 million grant to combat rose rosette disease in the U.S., the national research team studying it is encouraged by the amount of information learned but admits having a way to go before finding how to overcome the deadly problem.

Rose rosette was observed on wild roses as early as the 1940s, but it was not until 2011 that scientists definitively identified the cause as being from a new virus in the novel genus Emaravirus transmitted by the microscopic eriophyid mite, according to Dr. David Byrne. Now the virus is killing commercial rose varieties. Continue reading

Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council to meet Oct. 30 at UGA-Griffin

by Sharon Dowdy, University of Georgia

The Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council will examine the control and management of invasive insects and plants at the council’s annual conference on Monday, Oct. 30, at the University of Georgia Griffin campus.

The daylong educational event is co-sponsored by UGA-Griffin, the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) Department of Horticulture and the Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture. The conference runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Continue reading

APHIS Adds South Carolina to the Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) Regulated Area

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is adding all of South Carolina to the list of regulated areas for the emerald ash borer (EAB). APHIS is taking this action in response to the detection of EAB in Greenville, Oconee, and Spartanburg Counties and because the state has decided to establish a full state quarantine.

To prevent the spread of EAB to other states, the attached Federal Order outlines specific conditions for the interstate movement of EAB-regulated articles from South Carolina. Specifically, the interstate movement of EAB-host wood and wood products from South Carolina is regulated, including firewood of all hardwood species, nursery stock, green lumber, waste, compost, and chips of ash species. Continue reading

Two new biologist positions with Invasive Species Management Branch of the Corps of Engineers

The Invasive Species Management Branch of the Corps of Engineers is hiring 2 biologists.

Both positions are in Florida: one is in Clewiston and the other is in Jacksonville.

This position works for the US Army, Corps of Engineers with a duty station in Jacksonville, Florida and a duty station in Clewiston, Florida. This position will be filled at the GS-07 grade level only with this announcement however, it is a developmental position with growth to the GS-09 and then to the GS-11 grade level. The full performance level of this position is GS-11.

Read more about the positions.