PLUM POX VIRUS UPDATE The joint PDA USDA Plum by whereitsat


									                                 PLUM POX VIRUS UPDATE

        The 2008 joint PDA-USDA Plum Pox Virus (PPV) survey and testing program
concluded on October 31. The 2008 PPV survey season was the second consecutive year of
all negative testing data for the virus. We are encouraged by these results and plan to
commit the necessary financial and personnel resources to the eradication program again in
2009. We appreciate the cooperation and understanding of the fruit industry during the
nine years of our program.

        In addition, 2008 marked the third consecutive year of all negative data from the one-
mile area surrounding a portion of Tyrone Township, Adams County, which will allow for us to
rescind the PPV quarantine there. This will be done before December 31, 2008, leaving the total
Pennsylvania PPV quarantine area at just under 50 square miles. The regulated area will include
portions of Butler, Franklin, and Menallen Townships, Adams County, and the northern part of
South Middleton Township (the area north of State Highway 174), Cumberland County.

         Funding from USDA supported 84 seasonal positions at PDA, including orchard
surveyors, testing personnel, field and laboratory supervisors, and a GIS intern, along with efforts
of four (4) permanent staff. In addition, USDA hired 10 seasonal employees to staff the
homeowner survey program, and 1 computer aide. USDA has six (6) full-time staff members
committed to the project.

        Early season activities for the 2008 PPV program focused on the “spring bloom” survey,
where USDA and PDA staff searched for wild and volunteer stone fruit trees. This activity
focuses largely on areas where commercial and residential trees have been removed, mainly the
500 meter buffer zones. However, the search for unmanaged stone fruit trees is ongoing, and in
2008, 111 wild/volunteer trees, all of which tested negative for PPV, were removed.

         The USDA staff also sampled 122 sentinel trees that were planted in regulated areas
where virus-infected stone fruit trees had been removed and destroyed. These samples also tested
negative for PPV. Once a PPV quarantine is rescinded, USDA staff remove and destroy all
sentinel trees in the released area following the testing procedure.

        No non-Prunus positives have been detected in the field, after extensive survey by Penn
State University scientists, although non-Prunus has been successfully aphid-inoculated with
Pennsylvania PPV isolates under experimental conditions (PSU/ARS research under appropriate

        Sampling for commercial orchards and homeowner properties began the week of May 12.
The following table updates our efforts.
                           FOUR-COUNTY SAMPLE NUMBERS
                          (Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, and York)
             Orchard      Homeowner Other              Total         Total         %
Year         Samples      Samples   Samples            Samples       Positives     Positive
  2000         51,429           547          586         52,562          399         0.776
  2001         80,012         5,556         1,326        86,894          27          0.034
  2002         90,388        15,748         1,913        108,049          7          0.008
  2003        155,970        36,530         6,845        199,345         11          0.006
  2004        166,306        42,730         2,059        211,095          4          0.002
  2005        213,005        51,158         3,280        267,443          5          0.002
  2006        166,568        45,702         4,418        216,688          6          0.002
  2007        173,180        44,295         2,689        220,164          0            0
  2008        218,514        10,230         2,634        231,062          0            0

        Both our agencies remain committed to eradicating PPV and assisting those impacted by
the virus. Please contact us if you have questions – PDA @ 772-5226 and USDA @ 241-0705.

Don Albright                                          Dennis C Wolff
National Plum Pox Coordinator                         Secretary
USDA, APHIS, PPQ                                      PA Department of Agriculture
Carlisle, PA                                          Harrisburg, PA

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