Friday, April 06, 2012

Kudzu Bug Found in Georgia Container Shipped to Honduras, UGA Offers Research

AgFax.Com - Your Online Ag News Source


Two years ago, the kudzu bug arrived in Georgia. It has been feeding on kudzu and soybeans ever since. Now, some of Georgia’s Latin American trading partners are worried that the legume-eating pest may be headed south.

In February, Honduran officials discovered dead kudzu bugs in a shipping container from Georgia. This led the country to step up inspections of cargo from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama.

Kudzu bug overview

To help Latin American officials prepare for the possible introduction of the pest into their countries, University of Georgia researchers scheduled an informational meeting to share what they have learned about the kudzu bug (Megacopta cribraria) since it was found in the Southeast.

The goal was to educate the officials, representing various aspects of plant and animal health and international trade, on UGA’s current knowledge of the insect and provide a forum of discussion on trade issues surrounding quarantine concerns of the Honduran government, said Wayne Gardner, an entomologist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the meeting’s organizer.

“The meeting was prompted by concerns voiced by the Honduran government concerning the interception of two separate container shipments of poultry products from Georgia that reportedly contained dead kudzu bug adults,” Gardner said. “The second discovery prompted Honduran officials to halt receipt of all container imports from the states of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee.”

More than 4,000 containers from these states were reportedly held at Honduran ports, he said.

 

Cotton imports affected

“This stance was eased within a few days when Honduran laborers were being sent home as there was no cotton yarn and goods for manufacturers,” Gardner said. “Ten percent of all containers from these states are now being inspected, while 5 percent of all containers from other parts of the U.S. are routinely inspected.”

Gardner said the country’s cotton industry was hit hard hit by the trade sanction. Strict guidelines that require containers be cleaned before being loaded with cotton products have already helped mitigate problems of transporting the kudzu bug, Gardner said.

During their visit to Georgia March 27-29, the 16 Latin American officials toured CanAm Yarns LLC in Cedartown to see how cotton is processed and packaged before it is exported to their countries. With the help of Spanish translators, they spent two days on the UGA campus in Griffin listening to scientific presentations on the kudzu bug and asking questions.

“We focused on having speakers deliver the most up-to-date information that we have on the insect, to be totally transparent and forthcoming in those discussions, yet emphasize that this insect is not unique to the southeastern U.S.,” Gardner said. “It also hitchhikes from its native Asian range.”

In addition to the kudzu bug’s basic biology, UGA researchers discussed its host plants, potential risks, impacts on the environment and possible management strategies.

Rogelio Trabanino, an entomologist with Escuela Agricola Panamericana, attended the meeting to learn about potential biological control methods.

“I want as much information as I can get so we will be ready to control the pest should it enter our country,” he said. “UGA has laid a lot of the groundwork for us.”

A bean-eating pest would affect the food supply

The kudzu bug feeds on legume or bean plants. In counties like Honduras, any kind of bean-eating pest has the potential to affect a major food source.

“Our initial concern is over beans because they are a main staple and a source for protein here,” said Guillermo Alvarado, executive director of the International Regional Organization of Plant and Animal Health. “Hundreds of thousands of acres of beans are grown by small farmers, and this pest would create an additional burden to these farmers and become a food security risk for us.”

Alvarado’s organization’s major objective is to protect animal and plant health in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and the Dominican Republic.

“At the conclusion of the meeting, Honduran and OIRSA inspection and quarantine officials admitted there had been no problems with cotton product imports and acknowledged that the standard protocols used by the cotton industry are adequate in minimizing the risk of introducing the insect to their region,” Gardner said. “They asked that similar protocols be implemented with the poultry industry and others.”

In addition to hitching rides in cargo shipments, OIRSA officials fear kudzu bugs may leave the U.S. on commercial passenger jets, he said.

“Kudzu bugs have been intercepted in the passenger area and baggage compartments of several flights originating from Atlanta with arrivals in Guatemala and Honduras,” Gardener said. Honduran officials “have asked for some sort of protocol to address this problem. USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is working with airport authorities to develop some sort of protocols to address these risks.”


Leave a Reply

Name and Email Address are required fields. Your email will not be published or shared with third parties.

Sunbelt Ag News

    DTN Livestock Midday: Cash Cattle Trade Supports Futures12-24

    DTN Grain Midday: Wheat Plunges, Leads Trade Lower12-24

    DTN’s Top Ag Stories: Resistant Weed Worries Spread12-24

    DTN’s Top Ag Stories: Obama Issues Immigration Order12-24

    DTN Cotton Open: Slightly Lower on Light Volume12-24

    DTN’s Top Ag Stories: Brazil, Argentina Produce More Soybeans12-24

    DTN Livestock Open: Hog Futures to Begin Lower12-24

    DTN Grain Open: Soybeans Start Out Lower12-24

    Keith Good: Embattled Railroads Get Thumbs Up; Hog Numbers on Rise12-24

    DTN Livestock Close: Short Covering Moves Lean Hogs Higher12-23

    Doane Cotton Close: Prices Drop in Final Minutes of Trade12-23

    DTN Cotton Close: Mixed as March Slips12-23

    AFB Grain-Soybean Close: Wheat, Corn Move Higher, Soybeans End Mixed12-23

    AFB Cotton Close: Market Turns Slightly Lower12-23

    AFB Rice Close: Futures Slightly Higher12-23

    Shurley on Cotton: Crop Insurance, Marketing Advice for 201512-23

    USDA: Weekly National Peanut Prices12-23

    DTN Grain Close: Wheat Advances In Light Trading Session12-23

    DTN Fertilizer Trends: Urea Price Shows Some Weakening12-23

    Iowa Survey: Weed Resistance Seen as Daunting Problem — DTN12-23

    RMA Records Can be Easiest Option for Updating Farm Yields12-23

    Arkansas: Pinnacle Ag Acquires Gillett Grain12-23

    Senate Passes Barge Tax to Fund Waterway Repairs – DTN12-22

    Farm Shops: Small Size Can Still Tackle Big Work Orders – DTN12-22

    It’s Official: Viptera Trait in Corn, DDGs Approved by China — DTN12-22

    Welch on Grain: Corn Acres Projected at 88M in 201512-22

    Welch on Wheat: Prices Respond to Russia Uncertainty12-22

    Louisiana Rice: 6 Producer Meetings Slated for January, February12-22

    Flint on Crops: Memories of Country Christmases Rekindle the Spirit12-22

    DTN Livestock Close: Cattle Futures Rebound With Triple-Digit Gains12-19

    Doane Cotton Close: Another Choppy Week Ends Slightly Ahead12-19

    Mississippi Crop Values to Top $7B for 3rd Straight Year12-19

    Alfalfa: Dupont Pioneer Sells Alfalfa Seed Biz To S&W12-19

    John Deere Sells Crop Insurance Arm To Farmers Mutual Hail12-18

    Sunbelt Ag Events

     

    About Us

    AgFax.Com covers agricultural trends and production topics, with an emphasis on news about cotton, rice, peanuts, corn, soybeans, wheat and tree crops, including almonds, pecans, walnuts and pistachios.

      

    This site also serves as the on-line presence of electronic crop and pest reports published by AgFax Media LLC (formerly Looking South Communications).

        

    Click here to subscribe to our free reports.

      

    We provide early warnings and confirmations about pests, diseases and other factors that influence yield. Our goal is to quickly provide farmers and crop advisors with information needed to make better and more profitable decisions.

         

    Our free weekly crop and pest advisories include:

    • AgFax Midsouth Cotton, covering cotton production and news in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Missouri.

    • AgFax Southeast Cotton, covering cotton production and news in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

    • AgFax Southwest Cotton (new for 2013!), covering cotton production and news in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and New Mexico.

    • AgFax West (formerly MiteFax: SJV Cotton), covering California cotton, alfalfa, tomatoes and other non-permanent crops in California's Central Valley.

    • AgFax Rice covering rice production and news in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas.

    • AgFax Peanuts, covering peanut production in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

    • AgFax Southern Grain: covering soybeans, corn, milo and small grains in Southern states.

    • AgFax Almonds, covering almonds, pistachios, walnuts and other tree crops in California's Central Valley.

    • AgCom 101, providing guidance to ag professionals involved in social media.

    Our newsletters are sponsored by the following companies: FMC Corporation Chemtura Dow AgroSciences.

          

    Mission statement:

    Make it as easy as possible for our community of readers to find and/or receive needed information.

              

    Contact Information:

    AgFax Media. LLC

    142 Westlake Drive Brandon, MS 39047

    601-992-9488 Office 601-992-3503 Fax

    Owen Taylor Debra L. Ferguson Laurie Courtney

          

    Circulation Questions?

    Contact Laurie Courtney