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invasive species management

Images of invasive species management.

ERS initiated a new program of work in fiscal year 2003 to examine the economic issues related to managing invasive pests in increasingly global agricultural markets. The ERS program focuses on national decisionmaking concerning invasive species of agricultural significance or affecting, or affected by, USDA programs.

“Invasive species” are defined broadly to include any vertebrate, invertebrate, weed, fungi, plant disease, livestock disease or other organism that:

• Is non-native, alien, or exotic to the ecosystem where it exists or potentially could be introduced – including agricultural, range, and forest ecosystems; and

• When introduced causes, or is likely to cause, economic or environmental harm.

Many insect, disease, and weed pests of food, fiber, and nursery crops, and many nonnative animal pests and diseases pose threats to U.S. agricultural production and exports. Examples include Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly), citrus canker, Asian longhorn beetle, Foot-and-Mouth Disease, Karnal bunt wheat fungus, Exotic Newcastle Disease of poultry, and Leafy Spurge, each of which highlights a concern about economic or environmental losses.

Trade is essential to the U.S. agricultural sector, with earnings from U.S. exports accounting for as much as 30 percent of total farm receipts. Increased movement of people and products across international borders creates new risks of introducing invasive species that can damage food and fiber production. This research program assesses public sector measures for reducing economic risks to U.S. agriculture from invasive species, while preserving economic gains from trade and travel. More overview...


Program of Research on the Economics of Invasive Species Management (PREISM)—Proposals were solicited for a 2004 competitive awards program on the economics of invasive species management. For more information, read the Request for Proposals. (See Summaries of 2004 PREISM awards).

PREISM WorkshopERS and the Farm Foundation co-sponsored a review of the research projects funded by the ERS Program on the Economics of Invasive Species Management (PREISM) on August 19 and 20, 2004 in Washington, D.C. The objective of the workshop was to review the progress and/or preliminary results of each 2003 PREISM grant or cooperative agreement. PREISM awardees and cooperators made brief presentations and a discussant commented on each paper presented. Dr. Charles Perrings from the University of York (UK) was the keynote speaker. The review and workshop brought together academic researchers as well as representatives from a variety of Federal agencies concerned with various economic aspects of preventing, monitoring and managing invasive species.

Economic and Policy Implications of Wind-Borne Entry of Asian Soybean Rust into the United States—American soybean producers and the research, regulatory, and extension institutions supporting them are preparing for the potential wind-borne entry of Asian soybean rust into the United States. This report examines how the economic impacts of soybean rust establishment will depend on the timing, location, spread, and severity of rust infestation and on how soybean and other crop producers, livestock producers, and consumers of agricultural commodities respond to this new pathogen. (April 2004) Amber Waves Summary article

recommended readings
A Framework for Analyzing Technical Trade Barriers in Agricultural Markets—Technical trade barriers are increasingly important in international agricultural trade. Designing technical trade measures that can satisfy the growing demand for food safety, product differentiation, environmental amenities, and product information at the lowest cost to the consumer and to the international trading system requires an understanding of the complex economics of regulatory import barriers. This report proposes a definition and classification scheme to frame discussion and evaluation of such measures. TB-1876 (3/99).

Incorporating Science, Economics, and Sociology in Developing Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards in International Trade—As the world economy has moved toward more open trade, there has been increasing focus on managing potential conflicts with a country's right to take measures to protect its citizens, production systems, and environment from risks and effects of such protection on trade. In 1998, ERS asked the National Research Council to organize a conference to address the roles of science, economics, and culture in agricultural trade policy, focusing on sanitary and phytosanitary standards. This book is the proceedings of that conference, including 11 papers on risk assessment, invasive species, and consumer preferences, and three case studies focusing on meat processing, plant quarantine, and genetically modified crops.

recent research developments
Meetings, conferences, and research activity in the invasive species management area.

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Ag Chemicals and Production Technology
U.S. Agricultural Trade

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Not All Alien Invaders Are From Outer Space—Poster from APHIS, USDA.

related links

Plant Protection and Quarantine Program, APHIS, USDA

Veterinary Services, Disease Eradication Program, APHIS, USDA, coordinated by the National Agricultural Library, USDA

Crop Protection and Quarantine Program, Agricultural Research Service, USDA

Animal Health Program, Agricultural Research Service, USDA

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for more information, contact: Craig Osteen and Donna Roberts
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page updated: October 15 , 2004


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