Not Welcome. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.
There is a small group of immigrants that are not wanted and the Department of Agriculture’s in the northwest are determined to round them up. The Japanese beetle made it’s illegal entry in 1916 on a boatload of iris flowers and while is not a major issue the states are working hard to make sure it stays that way. Lacy Gray has more.
GRAY: The Japanese beetle is approximately ½-inch long, a shiny metallic green with copper-brown wing covers but has a very diverse palate as it will feed on over 300 kinds of plants including all kinds of fruit and berries. Recently the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Helmuth Rogg and his team were at work near the Portland International Airport to trap and spray greenery around the airport to help prevent any incoming beetles from spreading. The beetle numbers really exploded into large, destructive populations east of the Mississippi River and slowly, they are marching West, feeding on turf, fruit trees, berries, hops and numerous ornamental plants. And interestingly they don’t really have any natural enemies here so it is difficult to control them.
Thanks Lacy. Even the U.S. Postal Service is part of the team that is working on the beetle invasion. They have a 60-person Japanese beetle-exclusion team at their Louisville, Kent., shipping hub. Every crew, plane and shipment headed West gets checked for beetles. Eventually and ultimately the Japanese Beetle will invade the West Coast but people like Rogg and the other state departments will keep on with their efforts to delay that inevitability.
That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.