APHIS Publishes Final Rule to Allow the Importation of Fresh Mango Fruit from Vietnam into the Continental United States

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is amending its regulations to allow the importation of fresh mango fruit from Vietnam into the continental United States.  After analyzing the potential plant pest risks, APHIS scientists determined that mangos from Vietnam can be safely imported under a systems approach.    Continue reading

APHIS Expands the Citrus Greening (Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus) Quarantined Area in California

Effectively immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), in cooperation with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the California citrus industry, is expanding the area quarantined for citrus greening (Huanglongbing) in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, and adding a quarantine area in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. APHIS is taking this action because of the positive detections of citrus greening in plant tissue samples collected in multiple locations.

APHIS is applying safeguarding measures on the interstate movement of regulated articles from the regulated areas in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. These measures parallel the intrastate quarantine that the CDFA initiated on September 8. This action is necessary to prevent the spread of citrus greening to non-infested areas of the United States. 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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APHIS Seeks Comments on several draft pest risk assessments

The governments of Swaziland, China and Brazil have asked USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to authorize the importation of various commodities 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.

These risk assessments include citrus, pomegranates and jujube. 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

Texas A&M scientists synthesize historical tick models to help curb the pest globally

by Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

The battle against fever ticks rages on, and a group of Texas A&M University and French National Institute for Agricultural Research scientists are doing their best to determine where the fray will head by synthesizing historical models for use in curbing the pest globally.

Texas A&M’s departments of wildlife and fisheries sciences and entomology and the French institute have collaborated for a number of years to model systems approaches meant to address ecological and regulatory questions about fever ticks, said Dr. Pete Teel, who works within the entomology department’s Tick Research Laboratory. Continue reading

APHIS Seeks Comments on Draft Pest Risk Assessment for Carrots for Consumption from South Korea

The government of South Korea has asked USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to authorize the importation of carrots 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.

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 rulemaking. Continue reading