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Governor Wolf Joins Front Lines in Battle Against Spotted Lanternfly

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(WBRE/WYOU-TV)    Governor Tom Wolf and Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding were in Harrisburg to view the treatment being conducted across the Commonwealth concerning Spotted Lanternflies.

 They were joined by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA), Penn State University, and USDA at a Harrisburg site populated with Spotted Lanternflies.

“Although Pennsylvania had the unlucky fate of being the first state in the nation to be visited by the Spotted Lanternfly, we faced that challenge head-on and have made incredible strides in containment and control,” said Gov. Wolf in a prepared release. “This is a team effort and all hands are on deck, committed to protecting Pennsylvania’s agricultural products, preserving our quality of life, and keeping commerce flowing here in the commonwealth.”

Under the governor’s PA Farm Bill – a package of legislation designed to expand and protect agriculture infrastructure – the Pennsylvania Rapid Response Disaster Readiness Account will provide $3 million toward the containment of the Spotted Lanternfly. This is the second year in a row the governor has allocated funding in the state budget to increase spotted lanternfly detection, control, and eradication efforts. Over the past few years the administration has allocated more than $10 million to protect Pennsylvania business and agriculture. Additionally, USDA recently dedicated more than $6.2 million in new funding to Pennsylvania’s efforts.

This May, PDA introduced the Spotted Lanternfly permit system to train businesses and employees on recognizing the life stages of the Spotted Lanternfly. Since then, the department has issued more than 900,000 permits to businesses that travel in and out of the quarantine area. Additionally, PDA and USDA teams continue to assess and treat high-risk properties, with survey teams scouting for insects across the state after receiving reports of sightings outside of the quarantine area. Penn State has taken the lead on conducting outreach and research.

“Pennsylvania’s progress in controlling the Spotted Lanternfly is due in part to the historic partnership we’ve made with USDA and Penn State and the critical funding we received through the state and federal budgets,” said Sec. Redding. “However, it’s important that Pennsylvanians remember that they play a significant role in this fight. They can treat their property with approved sprays, band their trees, or even use something as simple as a fly swatter to help control populations right in their own backyard.”

Businesses can obtain a Spotted Lanternfly permit at https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly-permit-training. Homeowners with questions about treatment, including approved sprays, can learn more through Penn State Extension at http://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly.

For more information on the Spotted Lanternfly, visit https://www.agriculture.pa.gov/spottedlanternfly.

(Information from PINS and Governor’s Office)

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