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Posted on July 9, 2012 with No Comments
Charles Schumer, New York’s Democratic Senator, sent a letter to Thomas Vilsack to aid with the armyworm invasion that is threatening New York.
“These pests are devastating a wide range of crops from wheat to corn to specialty crops, leaving farmers field’s decimated. As New York farmers have already suffered major losses from late season frosts this year, it is critical that the USDA leverages its extensive resources to assist farmers by elevating the armyworm to the agricultural research service (ARS) priority list of pests and to have APHIS produce a report including an updated guidance for pest control,” Schumer wrote in the letter sent Monday.
The current infestation, Schumer writes in the letter, is due to the worms migrating from Southern states earlier in 2012, resulting in the “highest known populations of the pest to date.”
Schumer wants the USDA to devote more resources to studying the worm and also wants the USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to release new information for dealing with the armyworm.
“I urge the ARS to elevate the armyworm to its priority species in order to direct research resources devoted to pest control to studying the armyworm,” Schumer writes in the letter. “Additionally, I urge APHIS to produce a report investigating the current extent of the infestation and update of the 2005 guidance on armyworms taking into consideration new prevention, eradication, and control methods.”