June 3, 2022

Have you noticed invasive species on your farm?

“It’s like a plant out of hell, it’s scary"

- Auburn University Entomologist, Anthony Abbate on the Chinese tallow tree spread in the Southern U.S.

Meme depicting Michael Scott from The Office about earth worms as an invasive species

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What's top of mind?

Invaders from outer space.

Well, from other spaces. They cost U.S. economy over $100B per year according to The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA).

Plants, animals, pathogens and parasites. Yikes!

Your farms, fields and pastures are at the forefront of the battle against destructive plants and creatures. Here are some steps you can take as a producer to identify and destroy the invasive species that threaten our natural and agricultural resources.

This week's farm prosperity checklist:

✅ Know your invaders

Knowledge is usually spread about invasive species within your community. But the USDA- National Invasive Species Information Center offers a handy online tool to identify invasive species in your area.

✅ Report any sightings to your county extension agent or your State Plant Health Director.

✅ Spread seeds, not spawn

Some invaders you can’t see. Be sure to thoroughly clean your boots, gear, truck bed, tires and harvesting equipment after working a field or site with suspected invasive species.

✅ Watch your flanks!

Monitor fencerows, ditches and other areas adjacent to your fields. Invasive plants are sneaky and can often originate in lesser monitored areas.

✅ Clean food, clean farm

Always buy or use certified pest-free and weed-free hay and feed for your livestock.

Need help with your defense?

Defending your farm against invasive species can be a big undertaking. The USDA has a list of a few programs that may help fund your fight.

TAKE ME TO THE LIST OF GRANTS AND FUNDING >>

Last week's survey results are in:

Great job to those of you with a succession plan! Keep having those open and honest dialogues with everyone included in your plan. It's a vital step!

Here’s the thing. Invasive species are a problem for EVERYONE. And we can all do our part to keep them at bay. For more information on invasive species, check out the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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