OFA Bulletin September/October 2012 : Page 2

OFA Mission Statement To support and advance professional horticulture. OFA – The Association of Horticulture Professionals Forum Quarantine-37, NAPPRA & Plants to be Planted! By Lin Schmale and Craig Regelbrugge 2130 Stella Court Columbus, Ohio 43215-1033 USA 614-487-1117 Fax: 614-487-1216 ofa@ofa.org www.ofa.org OFA Bulletin September/October 2012 NUMBER 935 Editorial Staff Stephen A. Carver, Ph.D. Scott Leyshon Laura Kunkle Editor Contributors A. R. Chase Raymond A. Cloyd Paul Fisher Lynn P Griffith, Jr. Charlie Hall Alan Hodges Rita Randolph Craig Regelbrugge Lin Schmale John Stanley Bill Swanekamp he seemingly endless process of revising USDA’s Quarantine-37 (Q-37) regulations which govern the import of “plants for planting,” continues to be a topic of considerable importance to our industry. The Society of American Florists (SAF) and American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA) continue, as we have for decades, to focus on Q-37 as a major priority. What’s the latest? What do growers need to know to influence the process? Of course, many of the most commonly sold plants in the United States are the result of importation of “plants for planting.” And the Q-37 regs cover far more than just “plants in media.” As with many government-issue phrases, the meaning of the term “plants for planting” is more than it appears. As legally defined by USDA, it includes any plant or plant part “for or capable of propagation, including a tree, a tissue culture, a plantlet culture, pollen, a shrub, a vine, a cutting, a graft, a scion, a bud, a bulb, a root, and a seed.” In other words, pretty much everything! The original Q-37 regulations were put in place well over 50 years ago, when most import of plant material was for breeding, research, or scientific purposes. The volume of imported plant material and the number of requests from foreign nations to export plant material to the U.S. market have greatly increased since then. Port inspections cannot serve as an adequate defense, although they remain an important component of the overall system. Introduction of plant material continues to offer enormous benefits to our industry, and to American agriculture, though it can also pose risks. Recognizing both the benefits and the risks associated with the international movement of plants for planting, the challenge for Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) – and for us – is to modernize the framework of applicable regulations in a manner that allows the United States to maximize the benefits of plant introduction and trade while minimizing the risks of inadvertent introduction of pests or noxious weeds. APHIS has done some clean-up of the Q-37 regulations, but the most significant change it has made so far is in establishing a new regulatory category: NAPPRA. The new regulation was published in 2011, followed by the first proposed NAPPRA list. Significantly, these new restrictions will cover not just plant hosts of pests, but also “pest plants,” plants which are likely to be invasive. So what is NAPPRA, anyway? Previously, plants were categorized as either prohibited or restricted (allowed under certain safeguarding conditions). But under the new NAPPRA category, if scientific evidence indicates that a plant taxon (species or genera) is a quarantine pest itself or could carry a quarantine pest, or, as noted above, if the plant itself could be invasive, APHIS will publish a list for public comment. Those lists are expected to be periodically revised. Small quantities of germplasm may continue to be allowed for scientific or experimental purposes under controlled import permits. It is important to recognize that, for the purposes of the NAPPRA list, cut flowers have in some cases been included. If no comments are received to justify changing the agency’s list, the proposed taxa will be added to the new NAPPRA category, and import will not be allowed until the agency has conducted a pest risk analysis – an often lengthy process of evaluating the pests and/or diseases that a plant imported from a country (or several countries) OF A Bulletin T Not Authorized Pending Pest Risk Analysis (NAPPRA) Published Bimonthly Copyright © OFA 2012. Permission is hereby given to reprint articles appearing in this OFA Bulletin provided the following reference statement appears with the reprinted article: “Reprinted from the OFA Bulletin, (phone: 614-487-1117) September/October 2012, Number 935.” No endorsement is intended for products mentioned in this OFA Bulletin, nor is criticism meant for products not mentioned. The authors and OFA assume no liability resulting from the use of practices printed in this OFA Bulletin. 2

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