South-eastern Pennsylvania

US: $17.5 million emergency funds for fighting spotted lantern fly

This week, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced there will be $17.5 million available in emergency funding to stop the spread of the spotted lantern fly in south-eastern Pennsylvania.

“We’ve seen a dramatic expansion in the range of this pest over the last year and we need to take decisive action to prevent the spotted lantern fly from spreading throughout Pennsylvania and into neighbouring states,” Perdue said. “We have the tools to fight this invasive insect and -together with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture- we have developed an area-wide approach that will begin before the pest starts to re-emerge in the spring.”

The spotted lantern fly, with its distinctive and colourful wings, was first identified in Pennsylvania in 2014. The affected area expanded from 174 square miles in fiscal year 2016 to approximately 3,000 square miles by the end of FY 2017.

Fruitgrowersnews quoted Congressman Glenn Thompson as saying the insects were “wreaking havoc on Pennsylvania’s agricultural producers and landowners in 13 counties. This pest is a threat to apples, grapes, peaches, stone fruits and various tree species throughout Pennsylvania. I thank Secretary Perdue and USDA for its commitment to combating this destructive and invasive pest so we can hopefully eradicate it for good.”

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