MANHATTAN — The Kansas Department of Agriculture’s plant protection and weed control program is changing its approach to stopping the spread of the emerald ash borer beetle (EAB), following the lead of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In December, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published a final rule to remove the federal domestic EAB quarantine regulations. As a result, KDA will also lift county quarantines on EAB which have been in place for 10 counties in eastern Kansas and instead focus efforts on education, outreach, survey and biocontrol.
The emerald ash borer is a destructive pest of North American ash trees. It is native to Asia, and was first discovered in North America in 2002 in the Detroit, Michigan, area. Since then, it has killed millions of ash trees and caused thousands more to be removed to slow its spread. Local quarantines were established to prohibit movement of ash trees and other related items, but those quarantines have been largely ineffective in preventing the spread of the pest.
KDA will continue to survey and monitor for EAB, and will direct available resources toward non-regulatory options for management and containment of the pest, including collaborative efforts with industry organizations to educate communities about the threat of EAB and participation in biological control opportunities available through USDA-APHIS.
The county EAB quarantines will be rescinded effective March 1, following the USDA-APHIS rule which becomes effective January 14, 2021. Counties which had been under quarantine include Atchison, Doniphan, Douglas, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami, Shawnee and Wyandotte.
Comments regarding the change in the state’s EAB management plan can be shared prior to February 20 by email: [email protected]. If you have questions, please call the KDA plant protection and weed control program at 785-564-6700.
Read more about EAB in Kansas at www.agriculture.ks.gov/EAB.