Plant Health

Protecting the health of our nation's crops and environment is becoming an increasingly important and difficult task. The passage of trade agreements has increased the flow of fruits, vegetables, and propagative plant materials, along with “hitchhiking” organisms, across our borders making the United States more susceptible to plant pests and diseases. The possible introduction of foreign plant pests and diseases, coupled with current efforts to control pests and diseases already inhabiting the United States makes the need for 1) federal-state collaboration and cooperation in program delivery and 2) basic and applied research more important than ever.

Research should be aimed at determining pathways of introduction, preventing the introduction of pests, including pathogens, controlling plant pest and diseases and developing new methods for reducing and eliminating potential plant health hazards during the production process. The consumption of and demand for fresh fruit and vegetables and propagative plant materials continues to grow and the agricultural industry must strengthen its efforts to integrate plant health, management and, where needed, eradication programs.

States run plant health programs cooperate with the Animal and Plant Health Service to manage and implement programs to identify pests and determine methods to eradicate, manage or control them. Emergency program funding is often available through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to deal with foreign pests and diseases. More pest and disease problems are recognized each year. The pests and diseases not only affect crops, but also forests, aquatic habitats, rangeland and urban areas. States find their responsibilities expanding, while adequate resources to deal with them are hard to come by.

  • 05/16/2017
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) recently learned that several varieties of petunias genetically engineered (GE) to produce various hues of orange, red and purple colored flowers have been imported into the United States from Africa, ...
  • 05/02/2017
    USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will not extend the stay of the final regulation regarding the importation of  fresh lemons from northwest Argentina into the continental United States. The final rule, which has received two 60 day extensions since January, will ...
  • 04/11/2017
    APHIS announced the availability of a new factsheet titled “ Questions and Answers: Moving Baled Hay From Areas Under Quarantine for Imported Fire Ant ”  for those buying, selling, or producing baled hay.  This publication contains useful information for farmers, ranchers, ...
  • 10/04/2016
    The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed   the presence of New World screwworm in Key deer from National Key Deer Refuge in Big Pine Key, Florida.  USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories in ...
  • 08/16/2016
    APHIS Public Comment on EIS Analyzing Fruit Fly Eradication Programs

    USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is seeking public comment on an updated environmental impact statement (EIS) that analyzes the effects of exotic fruit fly eradication programs in the United ...
  • 08/26/2015
    APHIS recently announced their final assessment stating that the introduction of a wasp, S. galinae, into the United States as a biological control organism would not have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment. Earlier this year, APHIS began assessing the release of this ...
  • 06/02/2015
    U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published for public review and comment a draft environmental assessment (EA) and preliminary plant pest risk assessment (PPRA) following a petition received from the Monsanto Company. The petition ...
  • 05/18/2015
    The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) enforces numerous laws and is committed to doing so effectively and transparently. I am pleased to tell you today about a new resource that makes frequently requested enforcement information readily and consistently available to the public.
    ...
  • 04/28/2015
    Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Peruvian Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) recognized recent market access achievements for several longstanding issues for both the United States and Peru.
    These mutual successes are a culmination of many years of work that culminated in ...
  • 04/28/2015
    USDA’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) released its 2014 National Wildlife Research Center Accomplishments Report , which includes updates on wildlife damage management research and comprehensive summaries on: Bird Damage to Agriculture and Urban Areas, Managing Disease ...
  • 04/15/2015
    NASDA appreciates EPA’s efforts to improve the corn rootworm (CRW) insect resistance management program for registrations of plant-incorporated protectants (PIP) derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) in corn, and NASDA encourages EPA to continue and enhance its on-going collaboration with the Agricultural Biotechnology Stewardship Technical Committee (ABSTC), USDA, grower groups, and the registrant community in developing solutions to these important pest resistant issues.
  • 10/14/2014
    Last week, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) invited stakeholders to submit applications for fiscal year (FY) 2015 National Clean Plant Network (NCPN) projects under the 2014 Farm Bill Section 10007. Detailed submission instructions and an explanation of the ...
  • 07/08/2014
    Last week, USDA announced $5 million in support of 19 projects under the National Clean Plant Network (NCPN) funded under the Agriculture Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill). NCPN-funded facilities provide high-quality propagative plant material that is free of plant pathogens and pests that can ...
  • 02/25/2014
    Several Non-Governmental Organizations filed suit in federal district court in Honolulu seeking to defend a 2013 county disclosure law. The Kaua’i County Council approved Ordinance 960 last November by overriding the Kaua’i Mayor’s veto, which held the bill was preempted by ...
  • 02/25/2014
    USDA-NRCS will provide approximately $3 million in technical and financial assistance for farmer and ranchers seeking to improve bee health. The program will focus on improving pollinator health in five Midwestern states (Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin). USDA will ...
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