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Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
Bill Northey, Secretary of Agriculture
 
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For Immediate Release
Monday, June 14, 2010

Dustin Vande Hoef
Communications Director
515/281-3375 or 515/326-1616 (cell)
or Dustin.VandeHoef@IowaAgriculture.gov

QUARANTINE OF FIREWOOD AND ASH PRODUCTS ESTABLISHED FOR ALLAMAKEE COUNTY TO HELP PREVENT SPREAD OF EMERALD ASH BORER
Draft Rules Requiring Additional Labeling of Firewood also Issued

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today announced that a quarantine of Allamakee County has been issued to prevent the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). State officials announced recently that an EAB infestation had been confirmed along the Mississippi River two miles south of the Minnesota border in Allamakee County.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has also filed a proposed amendment to the Iowa Administrative Code that would require that firewood sold or distributed in Iowa be identified by the county and state of origin.

“These steps are necessary to help prevent the spread of this destructive insect while hopefully allowing businesses to continue to function,” Northey said. “This quarantine is established to make sure that any ash products that leave Allamakee County do not spread this pest. And, since firewood has been the primary means of transporting the insect and starting new infestations, this rule change focuses on a key risk factor in EAB spreading across the state.”

Quarantine Information

The regulated articles under the quarantine include EAB at any living state; entire ash trees; firewood of any hardwood species; any cut or fallen material of the ash; non-heat treated ash lumber with either bark or sapwood attached; and hardwood wood or bark chips larger than one inch in two dimension.

The quarantine orders that the regulated articles cannot be moved from Allamakee County unless a permit has been issued by either the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship or USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) or if the article has been treated to exterminate any pests under the supervision of USDA and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

A full copy of the quarantine can be found on the Department’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov under the “Hot Topics” section.

New Firewood Labeling Rules

The movement of firewood throughout Iowa and to other states poses the greatest threat to quickly spread EAB even further. Areas currently infested are under federal and state quarantines, but unknowing campers or others who transport firewood can spark an outbreak.

To better track firewood, the Department has issued a Notice of Intended action to Amend Chapter 46 the Iowa Administrative Code, “Crop Pests,” to require that every package of firewood offered for sale, sold or distributed include the harvest location of the wood by county and state. The harvest location of wood sold in bulk must be included on the delivery ticket. The rules will become effective on January 1, 2011.

A copy of the Notice of Intended Action will also be available on the Department’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov.

Written comments or suggestions on the proposed changes can also be made before August 1, 2010. Written comments should be addressed to Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Wallace State Office Building, 502 E. 9th St., Des Moines, IA 50319, or faced to 515-281-6236 or emailed to Margaret.Thomson@IowaAgriculture.gov.

EAB Overview

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is native to eastern Asia, and was detected in the United States near Detroit, Michigan in 2002. EAB kills all ash (Fraxinus) species by larval burrowing under the bark and eating the actively growing layers.

The metallic-green adult beetles are a half inch long, and are active from late-May to early-August in Iowa. Signs of EAB infestation include one-eighth inch D-shaped exit holes in ash tree bark and serpentine tunnels packed with sawdust under the bark. Tree symptoms of an infestation include crown thinning and dieback when first noticed, epicormic sprouting as insect damage progresses, and woodpecker feeding.

EAB has killed ash trees of various sizes in neighborhoods and woodlands throughout the Midwest. Ash is one of the most abundant native tree species in North America, and has been heavily planted as a landscape tree in yards and other urban areas. According to recent sources, Iowa has an estimated 58 million rural ash trees and approximately 30 million more ash trees in urban areas.

Iowa EAB Team members have been taking part in a collaborative effort to look for this pest since 2003. Detection efforts have included visual surveys, sentinel trees, trap surveys, nursery stock inspections, sawmill/wood processing site visits, and hundreds of educational programs.

This year EAB team members are in the process of placing 1800 purple traps at high-risk areas in the state, including in a 1.5 mile grid along the Mississippi River. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources also has 412 trap trees in the state this year, 12 of which are in Allamakee County.

The Iowa Emerald Ash Borer Team includes officials from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the USDA Forest Service.

To learn more about EAB please visit the following websites:

www.IowaTreePests.com
www.iowadnr.gov/forestry/eab/index.html
www.extension.iastate.edu/PME/EmeraldAshBorer.html

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