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[ISDA] ISDA committed to help lead fight against Invasive Species
Start Date: 4/16/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 4/16/2013
Entry Description
INDIANAPOLIS - In light of the Midwestern Governors Association’s designating April as Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture is reiterating its commitment to help lead the fight against these very real threats to the agricultural economy.

“ISDA remains committed to help facilitate and support a coordinated effort in the fight against invasive plants, pests and diseases,” said Amy Cornell, ISDA Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs. “The economic health of the agricultural sector depends upon the industry’s ability to work together to identify threats and manage invasive species.”

Invasive plants, pests and diseases can threaten not only agriculture, but parks, forests, gardens and even entire ecosystems. The MGA reports the annual economic impact of this problem exceeds $ 1 billion annually, including lost revenue and cleanup costs. A Cornell University study puts annual costs as high as $120 billion, nationally.

Monroe County producer Tony Scherschel knows all too well how seriously invasive plant species can be. The culprit in his case is Bush Honeysuckle, a lovely but highly aggressive deciduous shrub.

“It’s badly infested our woods. You’ll see it come all the way to the edge of the road and it just grows so fast,” Scherschel said. “It kills the grass and annuals; basically anything underneath it doesn’t get any food. We need more press releases and more people starting to fight it just a little bit earlier, because it just grows so fast.”

One important weapon in the fight against invasive plants, pests and diseases is the Indiana Invasive Species Council, formed by the Indiana Legislature. The chairman of the IISC is Dr. John Jachetta, Regulatory Sciences and Government Affairs Leader of Dow AgroSciences. Jachetta said IISC works to help educate the public about the problem as well as developing effective means to combat invasive species.

“Early detecting and rapid response are keys in keeping a small outbreak from becoming a major problem,” Jachetta said. “We want to detect outbreaks while they are still small and while we might be able to achieve eradication. It’s the most cost-effective way to manage an invasion.”

Jachetta added that vigilance will always be a key aspect of invasive species control.

“Anytime an individual in the state sees something they haven’t before, they can file a report and we can send something to our botanists to have it checked out,” he said. “Again, it’s a cost-effective way to try and get a handle on a situation before it grows out of control.”

A conference scheduled for October will also serve as a time for the IISC and various state agencies and private sector producers to share information and methods related to combating invasive species.

For more information on best management practices related to invasive species, go to http://www.entm.purdue.edu/IISC/bmps.php
Location Information:
Statewide
IN
Contact Information:
Name: Robert Ziegler
Phone: 317-690-3303
Email: rziegler@isda.in.gov
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Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Alerts and Notification
  • Announcements
  • IN.gov Category:
  • Business & Agriculture
  • Agency Name
    Agriculture, Indiana State Department of

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