Dec 26, 2019Plum pox eradication among APHIS’ top 2019 wins
The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is counting the eradication of plum pox disease as one of its top accomplishments for 2019.
“But our work benefits more than just our farmers and ranchers,” APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea said in a press release. “The effort our public servants put in every day help maintain our economy, ensure consumers have a variety of foods to eat, protect our recreation activities and keep the skies safe for the flying public.”
Some of the four successes highlighted by Shea included eradicating a disease affecting stone fruit.
After a 20-year battle, APHIS declared the United States free of the plum pox virus, which is considered the most devastating viral disease of stone fruit worldwide. By eradicating this disease, APHIS and State departments of agriculture, universities, and tribes protect more than 1 million commercial acres of stone fruit across the country, as well as stone fruit exports worth more than $5.4 billion. Now that the United States is free of plum pox, APHIS put protocols in place to keep the disease from entering our borders, including the development of a plant germplasm quarantine center that will prevent importation of the plum pox virus.