Does your citrus tree have spotted leaves or fruit with brown raised spots or small lopsided fruit? Good news, USDA released a free Save Our Citrus iPhone app that makes it easy to identify and report the four leading citrus diseases: citrus greening, citrus canker, citrus black spot and sweet orange scab.
In just a few steps, the Save Our Citrus app, available in English and Spanish, allows you to report the symptoms, upload a photo and receive an individual response back from citrus experts. Read more »
In the battle to preserve agriculture and the environment, Ben Shrader is Luke Skywalker and invasive species are Darth Vader.
Ben, a young man from central Texas, first became interested in invasive species after reading a newspaper article about plants wreaking havoc on native ecosystems. Also known as “Commander Ben,” he describes it as a “battle in nature, like good versus evil” and decided that he wanted to help the “good guys” win.
In his first of many spars with invasive species, Ben conducted a science fair project on giant reed (Arundo donax), an invasive plant that is damaging riparian ecosystems in his home state of Texas. But Ben didn’t stop there. Combining his love for filmmaking with his passion for science, Ben created a blog entitled “Commander Ben-The Invasive Hunter,” where he records his exploits and posts videos and other content to teach kids about the fight against invasive species. Read more »
Photo courtesy of the U.S. National Arboretum – Inspection of original shipment of cherry trees in January 1910
Since 1912, the beautiful pink and white blossoms of the Tidal Basin’s Japanese cherry trees have been one of our national Capital’s most iconic images. For Washingtonians, cherry blossoms herald the beginning of spring and a reprieve, albeit brief, between frosty winter weather (although this winter, not so much) and the sweaty, swampy conditions of summertime. Tourists flock from around the world to the National Cherry Blossom Festival, snapping photographs and attending events across the city. Yet few people realize that DC’s now ubiquitous cherry trees would never have reached America without a little help from USDA. Read more »
The Asian longhorned beetle is a large, showy beetle that is a voracious consumer of many tree species, such as maples.
April flowers and fresh spring foliage beckon us outside to enjoy a picnic, hike, or gardening project. But we’re not the only ones being beckoned. Invasive pests are also coming out. They’re hungry, and your state is on their menu.
That’s why USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has dedicated April as Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month, when what’s at risk is so vibrant—even as certain invasive pests begin to emerge with the blossoms. Some of the pests we’re targeting include the giant African snail, Mediterranean fruit fly, and sudden oak death disease. Read more »
Thanks to everyone who reported suspected citrus disease on USDA’s updated Save Our Citrus online Report It form. We have now received submissions from every citrus-producing state in the country. Using this new reporting form, site visitors can compare their own citrus plants to photos of four very serious foreign citrus diseases. If they believe their citrus is sick with citrus greening, citrus canker, sweet orange scab, or citrus black spot, they can submit a report and upload a photo in seconds.
With the rapid spread of citrus diseases, APHIS realized the need for eyes on the ground, in every backyard, and wherever citrus is grown. Residents are the first line of defense in stopping the devastation caused by citrus diseases. Read more »
Ensuring cut flowers are free from invasive pests and disease is a joint effort between the USDA and Department of Homeland Security. Here inspectors examine imported flowers at a Florida Plant Inspection Station run by USDA.
Did you know that USDA helps in bringing Valentine’s Day cheer every year? With the help of Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection, USDA’s Animal and Plant health Inspection Service (APHIS) safely imports millions of cut flowers into the US free from harmful plant pests and diseases from Jan 1 to Feb 14th in preparation for the Valentine’s Season. Read more »