EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. — This week is National Invasive Species Awareness Week. With warmer weather on the way, it is important for the public to be aware of invasive species. Each year, harmful invasive weeds, plant pests and diseases cost the U.S. $40 billion in crop losses, damage to forests and expensive eradication and control efforts, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
“Plant pests, diseases and noxious weeds can be spread a number of ways,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “It only takes one infected plant or piece of firewood to move invasive species into North Dakota.”
NDDA strongly encourages everyone to prevent the movement of plant pests by:
- Purchasing plants at a local, reputable nursery, garden center or seed source. The NDDA licenses and inspects nurseries in the state to ensure plants sold are from inspected sources.
- Buying or gathering firewood near the place it will be burned or using certified, heat-treated firewood. Don’t move firewood. The NDDA has partnered with a free firewood finder to help users find and advertise local firewood at https://www.firewoodscout.org/.
- Cleaning hiking boots, waders, boats and trailers, off-road vehicles and other gear to stop invasive species from hitching a ride to a new location.
- Reporting any possible invasive pests to the NDDA or your local extension office.
Learn more about what you can do by visiting hungrypests.com, dontmovefirewood.org, http://www.playcleango.org/or https://www.nd.gov/ndda/plant-industries/firewood for more information.
— Northern Plains Potato Growers Association
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