Brown Announces Plans for Program to Rid Clermont County of Asian Longhorned Beetles

Invasive Beetles Threaten the Ohio’s Hardwood Forests and $5 Billion Nursery Industry. Funding is Available for Landowners who Lost Trees to Asian Longhorned Beetles

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee – announced the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) plan to control the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) infestation in Clermont County.

“Clermont County’s residents and business owners know the devastating effects that Asian Longhorned Beetles can have on our state’s hardwood forests and nursery industry,” said Brown. “These federal resources will help control THE Asian Longhorned Beetle infestation and prevent an invasive species from spreading and destroying Ohio’s wooded lands.” 

APHIS and ODA will use a multi-faceted approach that includes surveying of host trees, pesticide application, removal of infested or high-risk trees, and quarantines. APHIS is currently designing pheromone traps and plans to have them in place by June. The program will also continue to host open office hours for residents and business, the next of which will be held on Wednesday, April 1, 2015 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the program office, located at 1761 State Route 125, Suite C, Amelia, Ohio 45102. 

Landowners in Clermont County who lost trees due to ALB can apply for financial and technical assistance through the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Applications are due by April 17, 2015.

First identified in Ohio in June 2011, the Asian Longhorned Beetle has caused significant harm throughout Ohio.  According to an Associated Press report in September 2013, 19,000 infected or high-risk trees throughout southwestern Ohio have been removed as a direct result of damage incurred by the insect. The Ohio Department of Agriculture states the Asian Longhorned Beetle has no known natural predators and threatens to inflict economic harm to Ohio’s hardwood forests and to the state’s $5 billion nursery industry, which employs nearly 240,000 people.  

Brown is the first Ohioan to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in more than 40 years. In 2014, he was part of the Senate Farm Bill Conference Committee that successfully negotiated a five-year farm bill that had been stalled for more than three years.