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APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine Program Recognizes Black History Month – “African Americans and the Arts”

The 2024 Black History Month theme, “African Americans and the Arts,” intersects with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) Program’s dedication to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility as we celebrate African Americans’ artistic contributions.

2023: A Year in Plant Health

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) closed out another successful year of protecting domestic plants from invasive threats while enabling safe trade. In 2023, APHIS employees inspected at least 2.82 billion pounds of imported crops from 19 countries—a testament to the year-round effort. Collaborating with U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the ports, APHIS intercepted more than 109,000 plant pests at our borders.

A Message from USDA to Ant Keepers

Ant keepers enjoy a fun and educational hobby, and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) also has an interest in it. You might wonder what ant keeping has to do with American agriculture and natural resources. Some invertebrates that people—including ant keepers—import into the U.S. or move between states could threaten our crops, forests, and community landscapes if they escape. USDA can help you import and move them safely.

How USDA Scientists are Winning the Battle Against Invasive Fruit Flies

Invasive fruit flies, such as the Oriental, Mexican, Mediterranean, and European cherry fruit fly, pose threats to many U.S. commercial and homegrown crops. If established, these flies could cause significant economic losses, requiring costly treatments to protect fruits and vegetables and reducing the marketability of infested fruit both locally and abroad. What’s at stake? The market value of invasive fruit fly-host commodities totaled approximately $11.7 billion in the United States in 2022. Approximately $8.3 billion of that was from California and $2.9 billion from Florida.

200 Years of Bilateral Relations with Mexico: Protecting Agricultural Resources from Plant Pests and Animal Disease Threats on Both Sides of the Border

As of December 2022, United States and Mexico are celebrating 200 years of bilateral relations. Over these two hundred years, our nations have developed rich diplomatic and cultural ties where agriculture and trade considerations feature a prominent role.

Alternative Uses for Fladry

Wildlife Services (WS) experts are exploring how fladry, a nonlethal tool used to protect cattle, sheep, and other livestock from wolves, can prevent other wildlife damage.

Becoming a Tree Climber: Training in the Trees

For the first time ever, expert tree climbers with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) Eradication Program trained fellow APHIS employees from another program on how to climb trees with a purpose.

Tracking Citrus Health in the Texas Rio Grande Valley

Growing up in the Texas Rio Grande Valley - in the richness of Mexican-Texan culture, tradition, and food - citrus is a staple in our everyday life. But I never knew that diseases threatened citrus production. That changed this summer. As a communications intern, I had the opportunity to job shadow employees in APHIS’ Citrus Health Response Program (CHRP). CHRP is responsible for surveying and regulating invasive pests and diseases that harm citrus crops: