Plant pests, diseases, and invasive species are threatening the health of our nation’s vital agricultural, natural lands, forests, rangelands, waterways, and wildlife species. These conditions result in a range of economic, ecologic, and cultural losses. While it is difficult to quantify the economic damage from plant pests, disease, and non-native invasive species, in 2013, the Congressional Research Service estimated the potential aggregate economic costs, from invasive species alone, at $127 billion annually in the United States. The single largest estimated cost was damage to U.S. agricultural crop and livestock production, totaling nearly $65 billion annually.
What is PEAR?
Pest Education Activities and Research is an effort led by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Research Foundation (NASDARF) to educate decision makers and stakeholders who, individually and/or collectively, to help identify, control, terminate or mitigate risks to agriculture of pests/invasive species
Our primary goal is education and outreach to decision makers and stakeholders through seminars and publications. There is a tremendous opportunity to build a strong coalition and create partnerships with new and existing efforts to address invasive pests. Other activities may include a national pest education symposium. The goal of the symposium would be to provide an opportunity for state departments of agriculture, state and federal entities and decision-makers, researchers and educators, and other stakeholders to highlight and discuss existing resources/efforts to combat invasive species and identify critical resources to protect U.S. agriculture.
Role of State Departments of Agriculture
The state departments of agriculture are the first line of defense for invasive pests. They regulate products to guard against the introduction of invasive pests by regulates certain plants and plant products and prohibiting or restricting the importation of plants, plant parts, and plant products into the United States.
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