Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Council (TIPPC) established in the State of Texas.

On June 2, 2008, the TIPPC became formally established in the State of Texas. Way to go Texas! For more information see here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Why is moving firewood a bad thing?

A new website trys to educate people on the dangers of moving firewood. The website can be found here.

Monday, July 7, 2008

New features added to the BugwoodWiki

We've been working on installing some new features in the BugwoodWiki. These are meant to be helpful additions to make editing easier and provide added functionality. Here is a list of the new features (Click on the link for more details):

Friday, July 4, 2008

Georgia Department of Agriculture bans sale of cogongrass

Georgia Department of Agriculture

Tommy Irvin, Commissioner

19 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SW

Atlanta, GA 30334



For information contact: Arty Schronce, Tyler Adams, Jackie Sosby or Yao Seidu (404) 656-3689

Ga. Dept. of Agriculture

Bans sale of Cogongrass

The Georgia Department of Agriculture has issued a statewide ban on the sale of Cogongrass, a non-native and aggressively invasive species of grass.

Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) is already listed as a noxious weed by the United States Department of Agriculture and is therefore illegal to transport across state lines.

The new action makes the growing, cultivation or sale of the plant a violation within the state of Georgia.

The grass is sold under the names Japanese blood grass and Red Baron grass. There is a reddish tint to the leaves which accounts for its name and sole ornamental quality. Cultivars such as ‘Red Baron’ are thought to be sterile (producing no viable seed), but long-term behavior of the plant is unknown. Cultivars of the grass have demonstrated aggressive spreading by their roots. They will also sometimes revert to green.

State and federal agencies have been working together for four years to detect all known Cogongrass infestations and to eradicate them.

Cogongrass can form a dense mat that makes it nearly impossible for other plants to coexist. It disrupts ecosystems, reduces wildlife habitat and decreases tree seedling growth. “Think of kudzu as a grass,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin.

This ban is part of an ongoing effort among the nursery industry, USDA Forest Service, University of Georgia Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, Georgia Department of Agriculture and Georgia Forestry Commission to prevent further introductions of cogongrass into the environment.

The Georgia Department of Agriculture has 24 inspectors that will enforce the ban and help educate nurseries and garden centers about this new regulation.

“Georgia garden centers and nurseries are stocked with plenty of other ornamental grasses or other plants that will substitute for these grasses,” said Commissioner Irvin. “Everyone agrees this is a wise precautionary measure.”

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Laurel wilt officially described and named Raffaelea lauricola

Tom Harrington (Iowa State University) and Stephen Fraedrich (USDA Southern Research Station) have recently published a description of the fungus causing Laurel wilt and have named it Raffaelea lauricola. The article in the April-June issue (104) in Mycotaxon will soon be available online. Until the article is released, you can see the press release about this naming at Iowa State University and Science Daily.

National Plant Diagnostic Network Crop Biosecurity Online Training Modules for First Detectors

The National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) has developed an educational program for crop consultants, county extension educators, and for those who monitor the health of crops. These programs provide training for "First Detectors" - people who are trained to have a heightened awareness to the potential for exotic pests or diseases. Their training sessions and online training modules provide a good resource for people interested in acting as First Detectors. You can find more information about the program at the Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory or can jump directly to the NPDN Training Site for First Detectors.