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Plant Sentry™ Looks At National Invasive Species Week

Plant Sentry™ Looks At National Invasive Species Week

National Invasive Species Week is here. It’s time to salute all dedicated universities, organizations, landowners, nurseries, plant breeders and consumers for doing their part to help combat this serious environmental threat.

Over time, invasive species cost the United States $1.5 billion annually. They have disastrous effects on agriculture, municipalities, and habitats. To those who have experienced the common struggle of chopping out buckthorn or pulling garlic mustard, you understand the difficulty of eliminating invasive species problems.

Plant Sentry™ works with universities, organizations, and officials from across the country to prevent future problems. We accomplish this by eliminating the purchase of plants that pose threats to their particular region at the consumer level, as these plants could cause irreversible harm. Additionally, our staff is extremely committed, serving on various committees to stay well-informed and providing ideas to mitigate both current and future invasive problems.

Organizations we work with are also developing wonderful predictor tools. This allows the green industry to stay ahead of future invasive species issues, growing only plants that stay at bay when planted in our landscapes. These tools furthermore help plant breeders in the green industry remain focused on developing plants that stay in check. That way, consumers and municipalities do not have to worry about plants getting out of control or escaping their landscape.

It is important to note that each state regulates invasive plants differently, as they know their particular region best. Some plants are highly invasive in certain parts of the country but pose no problems in others. The nationwide cooperation among states has strengthened the effort to continue knocking back invasive problems, and in some cases, it has even eliminated them.

Invasive species include more than plants. There are insects, aquatic plants, and both aquatic and land organisms that also play a role. Believe it or not, there exist invasive animals too, such as feral hogs.

In recent years, two prominent insect species have made an appearance: Emerald ash borer and the spotted lanternfly. Emerald ash borer, which has been around longer, has cost the states billions of dollars. Our hope is that this super cold winter has knocked this pest way back, maybe even eliminating some cases of it. 

This week, Plant Sentry™ honors all that are participating in invasive species related activities across the country. In a sense, it is everyone’s duty to be vigilant at the time of plant purchase. However, we understand the chaos of daily life, and that is why we are doing our best to ensure you are protected when you purchase a wonderful plant for your yard.

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February Is Idaho Potato Month

February Is Idaho Potato Month

You could really make the case that this should be a national celebration. After all, potatoes have been a staple in America since 1719, after being introduced in the 1690s.

Now extremely popular, this crop has certainly made its mark. There were approximately 1.05 million acres of potatoes harvested in 2017 at a value of $3.7 billion dollars.

About 60% of those harvested potatoes become French fries, potato chips, dehydrated goods, and other potato products. Imagine if ten, even twenty, percent of your French fries disappeared. I am sure you would not be happy.

Potatoes have serious pest and disease problems. Keeping crops clean is critical for retaining high harvest percentages so that producers can deliver to your table.

Plant Sentry™ is upholding its promise to prevent the accidental shipment of regulated plants that could put your potatoes in harm’s way. There are many vegetable shipment regulations put into place for very good reason.

Some vegetables are regulated for Colorado Potato Beetle and Potato rot diseases. Potato plants cannot be shipped interstate or intrastate unless they go through a rigorous certification process. Certifying that plant material is clean and free from injurious pests and diseases is very important to potato growers. In fact, a massive amount of research is completed every year to keep potatoes ahead of these severe pests and diseases.

The next time you go to purchase a plant online, make sure that you are using a reputable vendor. These vendors use systems that put the potato farmer first, allowing for a healthy supply of the valued commodity (potatoes) to satisfy your needs.