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America's 'Radical Elders' continue their work for fairness, justice; SCOTUS upholds law disarming domestic abusers; Workplace adoption benefits help families, communities; Report examines barriers to successful post-prison re-entry in NC.

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A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

USDA Warns GA Residents about Crop-Killing Pests

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Wednesday, April 12, 2023   

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is alerting Georgia residents about a citrus-killing disease caused by an invasive insect.

The Asian Citrus Psyllid is a tiny brown bug which transmits what is known as "citrus greening disease," an incurable condition rendering citrus fruit inedible and misshapen, making it unsellable.

So far, it's contributed to $40 billion in damages to crops, trees and other plants.

Kathryn Bronsky, national plant protection policy manager for the USDA, said there are ways to halt its spread.

"We recommend for the residents in this area to not transport homegrown citrus or citrus plants out of the area," Bronsky emphasized. "That will really help to prevent the movement of this hungry pest."

April is Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month. Experts said spring is an ideal time to detect invasive plant pests and diseases. Trees still have less foliage, making it easier to spot and eliminate bugs in the egg stage before they grow and spread. The Asian Citrus Psyllid is currently under federal quarantine.

The state is also keeping an eye on the imported fire ant, an invasive species which can wreak havoc on crops like corn, soybeans and okra, and even pose a threat to humans and farm equipment.

According to Bronsky, Imported Fire Ants are hitchhikers that can easily be transported through soil or equipment. And it is important to be careful when moving soil to prevent the spread of these pests.

"This one is easy to stop the spread by looking for soil and not moving that with you," Bronsky pointed out. "You actually have to have a permit to travel to new areas with soil from Georgia."

According to the University of Georgia Extension Service, the imported fire ant has infested more than 325 million acres in the southeastern U.S., including more than 10 million in Georgia.

The USDA offers more information about invasive pests and what to look for at hungrypests.com.


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