Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) just announced the detection of a new invasive insect pest in Virginia. In early January, VDACS inspectors discovered the Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula, at a stone yard in Frederick County near Winchester. The Spotted Lanternfly is native to China, India and Vietnam, and prior to the January detection, was not known to occur in Virginia. Both SLF egg masses and dead adults were detected at the Winchester site.
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of virulent Newcastle disease in a small flock of backyard exhibition chickens in Utah County, Utah. This is the first case of virulent Newcastle disease in Utah. This case is believed to be connected to the current outbreak of virulent Newcastle disease in California, as three of the birds at the premises were recently moved to Utah from Los Angeles County, California. Since May 2018, 299 cases of Newcastle disease have been confirmed in Southern California, primarily in backyard exhibition birds.
Virulent Newcastle disease is not a food safety concern. No human cases of Newcastle disease have ever occurred from eating poultry products.
Virginia Tech researchers who helped identify the dangerous Giant Hogweed plants in Clarke County, Virginia, want residents to stay on the lookout for the plant with toxic sap that can cause severe burns — but also stressed that the weeds are believed to have been planted intentionally decades ago and haven’t spread in the years since. Anyone who suspects they have found Giant Hogweed should take photos, check online to compare the plant to giant hogweed photos, and then contact a Virginia Cooperative Extension agent.