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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

APHIS proposes to remove the domestic quarantine for Emerald Ash Borer

Some of you may already be aware of this proposal, but I wanted to post it to highlight the comment period. See below.

APHIS is proposing to remove the domestic quarantine regulations for the emerald ash borer (EAB). Eliminating this regulation is in keeping with USDA’s goal of reducing regulations that have outlived their usefulness. The proposal would end APHIS’ domestic regulatory activities, which includes actions such as issuing permits, certificates and compliance agreements, making site visits, and conducting investigations of suspected violations, and instead direct all available resources toward managing the pest. APHIS remains committed to controlling this invasive pest and wants to conduct more research and release a greater number of biological control agents—tiny stingless wasps that are natural predators of the EAB—since biocontrol has shown the most promise for stopping EAB’s spread. Continue reading

APHIS Seeks Comments on Draft Pest Risk Assessment for Soursop from Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has asked USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to authorize the movement of fresh soursop for consumption into the continental United States.  APHIS has drafted a pest risk assessment that lists potential pests likely to remain on the commodity 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 regulatory action. Continue reading

APHIS Updates Regulated Areas in Miami-Dade County for Giant African Snail (Lissachatina fulica, formerly Achatina fulica)

Effective July 24, 2018, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) removed giant African snail (GAS) regulated areas Zone F, Zone S, and Zone V from the list of quarantined areas in Miami-Dade County, Florida. APHIS and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) collaborated to develop the protocol for removing areas from quarantine. Under the protocol, FDACS and APHIS use the following criteria to deregulate a quarantined area/zone:

  • Surveillance and treatment efforts for 17 months with no detection of live GAS;
  • An additional 19 months of surveillance with no detection of live GAS;
  • A minimum of one negative detector dog survey; and
  • A minimum of one negative night survey, when snails can be more active.

Continue reading