USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service issued a final rule that amends the black stem rust quarantine and regulations by adding nine varieties to the list of rust-resistant Berberis species and varieties. This action will allow for the interstate movement of these newly developed varieties without unnecessary restrictions. Black stem rust is one of the most destructive plant diseases of small grains that is known to exist in the United States. The disease is caused by a fungus that spreads from host to host by windborne spores and reduces the quality and yield of infected wheat, oat, barley, and rye crops. We expect impacted nursery and floriculture industries will benefit from this amended rule by being able to market interstate barberry species and varieties that have been determined to be rust-resistant. Anticipated effective date is March 22, assuming no adverse comments are received.
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