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APHIS Amends Karnal Bunt (Tilletia indica) Regulated Areas in Maricopa and  Pinal Counties in Arizona

February 2, 2022 

To:  State and Territory Agricultural Regulatory Officials

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is amending the Karnal bunt regulated areas in Maricopa and Pinal Counties in Arizona.

Following a review of the results of the 2021 survey of Karnal bunt-regulated areas and updates to the United States Geological Survey, Public Land Survey System (PLSS), APHIS is reducing the regulated area in Maricopa and Pinal Counties in accordance with the criteria listed in 7 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) § 301.89-3(f). Specifically, APHIS is removing 4,236 field acres from Maricopa County and 16,717 field acres from Pinal County from the list of regulated areas. This includes 2,063 field acres on Ak-Chin Tribal land and 488 field acres on Gila River Tribal land. Accordingly, there are no more restrictions on the interstate movement of Karnal bunt-regulated articles from these areas. However, other portions of Maricopa and Pinal Counties remain regulated.

APHIS is making two additional changes to the list of regulated areas, but not because of a detection of Karnal bunt. First, APHIS is adding one field (one field acre) in Maricopa County to the list of regulated areas. We have determined that this field meets the criteria for regulation outlined in 7 CFR § 301.89-3(e). This amendment is made because of updates to the United States Geological Survey’s Public Land Survey System. Second, APHIS is amending the description of a regulated area in the Peoria area of Maricopa County, Arizona, to clarify the legal description.

APHIS is taking these regulatory actions to prevent the spread of Karnal bunt from Arizona. Karnal bunt is a pest that affects wheat quality. APHIS regulates this plant disease because many trading partners require that U.S. wheat be certified as grown in areas free of Karnal bunt.

APHIS will follow this emergency action by publishing an interim rule in the Federal Register.

More information on Karnal bunt is available at the following website: 

For additional information about the Karnal bunt program, please call National Policy Manager, Lynn Evans-Goldner, at (301) 851-2286.


Mark L Davidson, DVM, MS
Acting Deputy Administrator
Plant Protection and Quarantine

Attachment: Federal Order

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