Quarantine alert: Xylella fastidiosa detected in Oregon
For the first time, Xylella fastidiosa, a serious plant pathogen, has been detected in Oregon, according to an alert sent by the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA). The bacterium infects xylem vessels in a number of woods, broadleaf and annual grass plants. It can cause leaf scorch, dieback and death; however, some plants host the bacterium without showing symptoms.
The disease was found on pear trees in the Corvallis area. The detection resulted in Oregon losing its designation as a X. fastidiosa Pest Free Area (PFA) by the European Union (EU). This means X. fastidiosa host plants from Oregon are prohibited into EU countries until it is determined which counties in Oregon do not have the disease and the EU officially recognizes these counties as PFAs.
One of the conditions for establishing counties as PFAs is the adoption of a quarantine for the disease. ODA Director Katy Coba has signed a
180-day emergency quarantine. The quarantine prohibits the movement of pear trees out of nine counties including Benton, Hood River, Jackson, Lane, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Washington and Yamhill. Movement of pear trees out of these counties to other areas in Oregon is prohibited until the counties can be designated as PFAs.
A second condition for establishing a PFA is a survey of the affected counties to determine if the disease is present or absent. ODA hopes to complete the surveys by mid-December. After surveys are done, ODA will petition the USDA and EU to accept counties where the disease is not found as PFAs.
For more information about X. fastidiosa, download the plant disease alert brochure.
Thanks to beekeepers, U.S. honeybee colonies hit 20-year high
According to a story by the Washington Post, the diligence and hard work of beekeepers to keep hives alive and healthy is outpacing bee die-offs. In fact, data tracked by the USDA has shown that the number of managed honeybee colonies is the highest it's been in 20 years.
Seasonal die-offs have always been a part of beekeeping, but when those numbers rose alarmingly around 2006, the phenomenon became known as "Colony Collapse Disorder." To counteract the trend, beekeepers began splitting healthy hives into separate colonies and replenishing colonies that had died off.
Supreme Court rejects request to delay immigration case
The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a request by the state of Texas for more time to answer the Obama administration's immigration appeal, Bloomberg News
reported on Tuesday.
The court gave Texas eight more days but not the 30 that had been requested. If the full delay had been granted, it would likely have prevented the court from hearing the case in its 2016 session. That in turn would have prevented President Obama's plan to shield millions of immigrants from deportation from taking effect during his presidency. Instead, it's now very possible the high court will hear and decide the case in 2016.
The case, State of Texas et al. v. United States, concerns a November 2014 executive action by President Obama that allowed parents of citizens or lawful permanent residents to apply for a program sparing them from deportation and allowing them to work. Texas and 25 other states, almost all led by Republicans, sued in federal court to challenge the immigration plan roughly two weeks after it was unveiled. The states have won every round in court so far, including a Nov. 5 ruling from the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Best Practices for Christmas Tree Export available online
A timely reminder that OSU's Extension Service has published online the English and Spanish versions of Best Management Practices for Christmas Tree Export/Buenas Prácticas de Manejo para la Exportación de Árboles de Navidad.
The guide features best management practices to reduce the presence of pests at harvest and describes how to identify these problems. It includes management calendars, pest quarantine information, legal considerations for exporting, and options for monitoring and trapping.
Get the Guide: English | Spanish
Oregon's water demand projected to grow 15 percent by 2050
Earlier this year, the Oregon legislature authorized roughly $55 million in water supply development loans and grants — and none too soon! Water regulators say by 2050, Oregon's annual demand for water will increase by about 15 percent.
Oregon's agricultural industry uses about 85 percent of the state's water, and is expected to need 6–9 percent more water over the next 35 years because growing seasons are expected to become longer and warmer, according to the Oregon Water Resources Department. A full report on Oregon's anticipated water needs in 2050 is undergoing final editing and will soon be made public.