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USDA wants farmer feedback on pests list

USDA wants farmer feedback on pests list

APHIS is compiling a list of pests and diseases of concern

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is asking Americans to provide input about a list it’s compiling.

The ag department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has developed a list of 59 animal and plant diseases it believes could pose a risk to U.S. ag and natural resources.

“Our goal is to keep the U.S. free of these foreign pests and diseases,” the USDA said in an Aug. 6 release.

The lists include animal illnesses like African swine fever and avian influenza, and plant diseases like bacterial leaf streak. Insects including the Khapra beetle and the wheat seed gall nematode are also listed.

“After reviewing feedback and potentially revising the list, APHIS will ensure it has fully developed comprehensive response plans to address the pests and diseases on the list,” the USDA said in its release. “Additionally, it will continue to work with its State partners on response plans they wish to create.”

Compiling the list and allowing the opportunity for feedback is set out in the 2018 Farm Bill.

Section 12203 of the bill, titled “Agriculture and Food Defense” mandates APHIS must develop the list and develop the proper response plans, and ensure state and federal governments are equipped to respond to any disease or insect outbreaks.

Anyone wishing to provide feedback on the list can send an email to APHISPestDiseaseList@usda.gov.

Farms.com has reached out to industry groups for comment.

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