Newhouse: LCD Research Must Be A Priority For USDA

Earlier this month Dan Newhouse, chair of the Western Caucus, and G.T. Thompson, the House Ag Committee Republican leader, wrote a letter to USDA regarding Little Cherry Disease and the damage being done to the industry. Newhouse said during a recent trip to central Washington, the lawmakers spoke with tree fruit leaders about what growers are seeing and the long term impact LCD is having on industry. Newhouse said currently very little research being done on Little Cherry Disease, and this is truly a crisis for growers.

“There is little that we know can be done to stop the spread of the disease and treat any orchards that currently have it.  The only option that we have now is to destroy the orchard, let it sit idle for two or three years, and then replant and there’s no guarantee that if you do that it won’t spread back into new trees.”

Newhouse added the hope is research will stem the crisis into the future.

“It’s really just a matter of prioritizing and that’s what we want to make sure happens, so we’re going to be working as hard as we can to make sure this is a high priority for the agency.”

Little Cherry Disease is not just a problem in the Northwest, with cases reported in California and Utah as well.

Click Here to read the letter Thompson and Newhouse sent to the USDA.

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