Five-Year Plan to Address Spotted Lanternfly Concerns

Brian GermanIndustry, Pest Update

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a five-year plan for addressing the invasive Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) pest. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service developed a Spotted Lanternfly Strategic Planning Working Group in August of last year. The mitigation strategy, spanning fiscal years 2024-2028, is detailed in a report released this week. It aims to limit the advancement of SLF and minimize its impact through collaborative efforts between federal and state agencies.

Spotted Lanternfly

The strategy prioritizes three main goals. Priorities include effectively limiting SLF advancement, supporting ongoing scientific research, and developing a national and state-level outreach campaign to educate the public and at-risk industries. Since its initial detection in Pennsylvania in 2014, SLF has spread to 13 additional states. The pest poses a threat to various crops and plants, including grapes, apples, hops, and walnuts.

The working group is made up of representatives from APHIS, the National Plant Board (NPB), and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA). “The National Plant Board believes that this renewed and refocused approach to managing spotted lanternfly will buy us the time needed to solve this plant pest riddle,” said NPB President and co-chair of the SLF working group, Steven Long. Representatives from California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Washington, and Virginia are also included in the working group.

To curtail the spread of SLF, APHIS will collaborate with states in the creation of a framework to prevent human-assisted movement. Efforts will also include promoting early detection through public reporting and incorporating the latest research and management tools. The strategy also emphasizes the importance of risk-assessment modeling data to predict SLF population emergence. Finally, the plan also calls for increased research on climate suitability, host-plant compatibility, biocontrol agents, and other management techniques.

Brian German
Ag News Director / AgNet West