PPQ Delivers Tiny Wasps to Combat Spiking Asian Citrus Psyllid Populations

By Heather Curlett, APHIS PPQ

When Hurricane Maria thrashed the Caribbean island of Dominica last September, the storm killed dozens of people and devastated the country’s infrastructure. Adding to the misery, plant pest populations exploded after the storm passed. These insects included the Asian citrus psyllid, which spreads the citrus-killing disease Huanglongbing, also known as citrus greening. Because citrus is an economically important crop for the country, Dominica’s agriculture ministry reached out to USDA’s Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program for help. Continue reading

APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) Releases 2017 Annual Report

Every day, PPQ employees and our partners give their all to deliver extraordinary results for U.S. agriculture. And 2017 was no exception. We continued to push the United States’ line of defense against invasive pests and diseases further offshore, allowing us to take action against pests hitchhiking on or in imported goods before they reached our borders. Here at home, we fought back against the spread of damaging pests such as exotic fruit flies, citrus greening, Asian longhorned beetle, boll weevil, and pale cyst nematodes that threatened our Nation’s crops and forests. In total, our efforts protected more than $98 billion worth of U.S. agriculture production and exports valued at over $138 billion. Continue reading

APHIS Posts New Pale Cyst Nematode (PCN) Eradication Program Report

APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) Pale Cyst Nematode (PCN) Eradication Program in Idaho has posted its 2017 fourth quarter report (October 1 – December 31). The report updates program activities and eradication progress, and provides quarterly and aggregate regulatory, survey and laboratory data.

The PCN Eradication Program is a cooperative effort among PPQ, Idaho State Department of Agriculture, and industry stakeholders. The program’s goal is to control PCN spread, and eventually establish Idaho as PCN-free. Continue reading

APHIS Posts New Weed Risk Assessments

APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) has posted Weed Risk Assessments (WRA) for the following two weed species:

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North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO) Seeks New Project Proposals

The North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO) is seeking new project proposals from June 1 to July 31, 2017. This is the first step in NAPPO’s process for identifying new projects or topics to add to its work program. This is also the initial step in the NAPPO standard-setting process for proposals that seek to develop a regional standard.

U.S. stakeholders are invited to work with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) to submit new project proposals. Proposals may focus on the development or revision of regional standards, workshops (e.g. to improve the implementation of standards), technical and scientific documents, surveillance protocols, or other projects to develop similar and consistent approaches for plant health measures. For your reference, the NAPPO Secretariat has posted on its Web site a list of current projects and topics. They have also posted a list of regional standards that need updating. Continue reading

APHIS Releases New Weed Risk Assessment

APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) has posted Weed Risk Assessments (WRA) for the following seven weed species:

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Research Assistant – PestLens

The individual in this position will engage in research in support of USDA/APHIS/PPQ and Center for IPM cooperative activities (PestLens) related to the collection and analysis of exotic plant pathogen data with application to early warning systems for plant health. The successful applicant will conduct literature searches, design and conduct advanced internet searches, analyze information about invasive plant pests, and enter information into database systems. This position will focus on producing reports for an early warning system designed to help protect U.S. agriculture from exotic plant pests. Additional opportunities in the areas of pest risk analysis, international trade regulation, and invasive species management may be available. The individual will be required to work closely with others in a team environment. Continue reading