The Idaho state Department of Agriculture is conducting its annual pest survey, where thousands of traps go up looking for invasive species that could bring harm to the state’s farming community. The ISDA’s Lloyd Knight said they are looking for Japanese beetles, a few grain pests in wheat and corn, the European Shoot Moth as well as a few others. When it comes to the Japanese beetle, Knight says the population count has improved in the Treasure Valley, but unfortunately, the pest has now been spotted in eastern Idaho near Pocatello.
“It’s an indication of the pressure that we see across the Northwest. As people move into the state, as we have this movement of containers and moving trucks and all of that commerce that happens that we enjoy economically, it does present some challenges when we look at some of the pest pressures we get.”
Knight says growers who come across unfamiliar pests should contact their local USDA office, or county extension to get their questions answered. He added when it comes to pests, farmers need to use the old moto ‘see something, say something’.
“When you see those things and you’re not sure what they are, you need to kind of let people know. So, if it’s something that’s going to be a real harm to the industry, if its something that’s going to impact the ability to ship commodities, or it’s toing to impact the crops themselves, or the livestock themselves, it’s important that folks ask some questions, let people know that it’s out there, and that way we can get these things addressed early on.”
Knight added the pest survey is not always about responding to a pest problem. He said the survey is also conducted to ensure quality to export markets. Visit the ISDA’s Website to learn more about the pest survey.
If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail [email protected]