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Plant Protection Today - 2020: The Year Plant Health Awareness Goes Global!

2020: The Year Plant Health Awareness Goes Global!
January 28, 2020

Be a Champion for Plant Health

By Greg Rosenthal

The United Nations (U.N.) has thrown its weight behind plant protection by declaring 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). If you’re a member of the plant protection community, you’ll want to join in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The IYPH is a worldwide campaign to promote the value of our precious plant resources and the need to safeguard them against invasive pests.

Consider the value of what you protect. Healthy plants are the foundation of life on Earth. They make the oxygen we breathe and give us 80 percent of the food we eat. Plants sustain our livestock and poultry. They also provide habitat for wildlife, form the base of nature’s food chains, and help biodiversity to flourish.

In addition, agricultural trade in plants and plant products has become crucial for human survival and economic growth in many rural areas, and it is worth nearly $1.7 trillion annually. Over the past decade, its growth has almost tripled. Thriving plants mean thriving people.

“For all the professionals who devote their lives to protecting plant health, the United Nations just put our mission on the global stage,” said Osama El-Lissy, Deputy Administrator of USDA’s Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program. “This is an extraordinary year for telling our story to the world.”

Plant Health Is Under Threat

Yes, plants are critical to life on Earth. But today, plants face an ever-growing threat: invasive pests. According to the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization, these pests destroy up to 40 percent of food crops worldwide, and cause $220 billion in trade losses annually. They can also throw ecosystems out of balance and devastate biodiversity. As we know, invasive pests can spread through global agricultural trade, and this pest pressure constantly increases.

To feed the world’s growing population, agricultural production must increase by about 60 percent by 2050, according to the U.N.’s estimates. That means we must do everything we can to protect plant health from destructive invasive pests.

PPQ Is All In

PPQ is the natural U.S. champion for the year. As the United States’ national plant protection organization, PPQ defends our country against invasive plant pests and diseases and works hard to make global agricultural trade safe, fair, and predictable.

Our work promotes a healthy, abundant food supply here in the United States and around the world. These efforts also help to sustain a vibrant, biologically diverse natural environment. And they support our Nation’s economic growth by helping U.S. growers and producers deliver high-quality food and agricultural products to the world.

Our Outreach Plans for 2020

Throughout 2020, PPQ and our cooperators will be champions for this campaign. Together, we will help raise awareness that plant health is crucial for all life on Earth. We will also emphasize the vital role that national and regional plant health organizations play in protecting plants from deadly pests and diseases.

PPQ will be broadcasting the message through Hungry Pests, USDA’s signature and award-winning invasive species outreach program. Social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter, will play a major role. And our spokespeople will conduct radio news interviews across the country during April, which is Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month.

Join Us—Be a Champion for Plant Health

It should be seamless to connect IYPH to your organization’s own efforts to protect plants against invasive pests. The U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization has made it easy to join the plant health celebration. Grab an idea from its outreach web page, which includes a worldwide photo contest open to all. You don’t even need to do anything new. Just download and print the IYPH poster or pull-up banner (stand required) and display them at your currently scheduled outreach events, conferences, and presentations. You’re already protecting plant health—all you need to do is brand those efforts under IYPH to garner extra attention and gravitas.

In addition, you can download and print PPQ’s official outreach materials and use them. You can choose from more than 100 items to download and print. Many of them come from the Hungry Pests program, and many others are PPQ’s official pest alerts, brochures, and outreach products. Just browse and click.

Let’s make 2020 the year the entire world grasps the invasive pest threat and commits to protecting plant health. In the process, you can help the U.N. meet many of its sustainable development goals. These include reducing hunger, poverty, and environmental threats.

Outreach Menu

Hungry Pests PowerPoint Presentation (Spanish version here)
Stop Hungry Pests (wallet card)
Poster (12" x 24", Customizable) (Spanish version here)
Trade Show Banners (Spanish version here

Vin-troduction (video, English)
Vin-troduction (video, Spanish) 

Invasive Pests on International Travel (video, English)
Invasive Pests on Dirty Outdoor Gear (video, English)
Invasive Pests on Online-Ordered Plants (video, English)
Invasive Pests on Moving Plants & Fruit (video, English)
Invasive Pests on Moving Firewood (video, English) 

Social Media, Blogs and E-Mail (Spanish version here [scroll to bottom]) 

Bookmark (Spanish version here)
Images of Vin Vasive (the “bug man” made of bugs—USDA’s anti-hero for invasive pests)
Bumper sticker (Spanish version here)
Magnet (Spanish version here)
Graphic icons (Spanish version here)
Adhesive name badge—Vin Vasive image with the caption “Hello my name is Your Worst Enemy” (Spanish version here

Hungry Pests State-Specific Brochures 




North Carolina

New Hampshire
New Mexico



Hungry Pests Infographics 

Tips to Protect Gardens and Landscaping
Tips for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Hungry Pests Print and Online Ads 

Print Ad – 2.25” x 3”
Online Ad – 160x600 (Spanish version here)
Online Ad – 300x250 (Spanish version here)
Online Ad – 728x90 (Spanish version here)

Hungry Pests Invade Middle School with New Curriculum: A national standards-based Middle School curriculum that brings students on an exciting educational journey into the world of invasive species. Four lessons are designed for easy implementation in Middle School classrooms to deepen student knowledge of invasive species through close reading of relevant texts, team research projects, interactive mapping activities, and classroom reflection. 

Middle School Standards Chart

Service Learning Curriculum: Youth in school clubs, after-school programs and youth organizations learn about invasive pests and take action through fun, interactive workshops that culminate in community awareness campaigns. Workshops are adaptable for different age groups, K-12. The curriculum also includes supplementary informational text articles for career exploration. These articles expose kids to the exciting jobs and careers that take on the fight against Hungry Pests. 

Service Learning Curriculum

Vin Vasive Mask : Cut out eye holes and attach a string to hold on the head of the mask wearer. Enjoy these games and activities as you learn more about invasive species, and ways you can help stop their spread. 

Hungry Pests Kids Activity Sheet: Download and print this activity sheet designed for kids of all ages. Easy to fold and carry in a purse or bag.  

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Activities: Puzzles, games, coloring pages, art activities and more! There are different challenges for different ages.

Activity Book
Outdoor Activity
Mark Trail Comic Strip (curriculum supplement) 

Emerald Ash Borer Investigator: Put your folding skills to the test with this origami-like trivia game!

Asian Gypsy Moth 

Asian Gypsy Moth (pest alert)

Asian Longhorned Beetle Coloring Page (puzzle/game)

Asian Longhorned Beetle

Asian Longhorned Beetle (Hungry Pests pest card) (Spanish version here)

Search for the Asian Longhorned Beetle (poster)

Questions and Answers: Asian Longhorned Beetle Insecticide Treatments(factsheet, color)

Asian Longhorned Beetle Coloring Page(poster)

Citrus Pest and Diseases 

Asian Citrus Psyllid (Hungry Pests pest card) (Spanish version here)

Citrus Greening (Hungry Pests pest card) (Spanish version here)

Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer (Hungry Pests pest card) (Spanish version here)

Questions and Answers: USDA's Emerald Ash Borer Biological Control Program (factsheet, color)

What Is the Emerald Ash Borer? (brochure)

Emerald Ash Borer Nature Walk:
(video) Go on a virtual stroll and learn more about the life cycle of the EAB. 

Stop the Beetle: Now!

These activities focusing on the emerald ash borer beetle (EAB) are designed for summer camps, scouts, and environmental education organizations working with youth ages 8 – 12.

Stop the Beetle: Now! Leader's Folio
EAB Activity Book
EAB Outdoor Activity
EAB Investigator Trivia Game

European Cherry Fruit Fly 

European Cherry Fruit Fly (Rhagoletis cerasi)(pest alert)

European Grapevine Moth

European Grapevine Moth (Hungry Pests pest card)  

European Gypsy Moth 

Gypsy Moth (Hungry Pests pest card) (Spanish version here)

It's the Law: Before Moving, Check for the Gypsy Moth (factsheet, color)

Gypsy Moths Send Forest Animals Packing (video, public service announcement) 

Exotic Fruit Flies 

Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Hungry Pests pest card) (Spanish version here)

Mexican Fruit Fly (Hungry Pests pest card) (Spanish version here)

Oriental Fruit Fly (Hungry Pests pest card) (Spanish version here)

Invasive Fruit Flies Impact You / Las plagas de moscas de la fruta lo afectan a usted (brochure, English and Spanish)

Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Ceratitis capitata) (pest alert); In Spanish: Mosca de la fruta del Mediterraneo (Ceratitis capitata)

Mexican Fruit Fly Texas (video)

SIT- Florida’s Proactive Defense from Exotic Fruit Flies (video) 

Giant African Snail

Giant African Snail (Hungry Pests pest card) (Spanish version here

Pest Alert: Giant African Snails (pest alert)

Alerta de plagas: caracoles gigantes africanos (pest alert, Spanish) 

Imported Fire Ant 

Imported Fire Ant (Hungry Pests pest card) (Spanish version here)
Questions and Answers: Moving Baled Hay From Areas Under Quarantine for Imported Fire Ant (factsheet, color) 

Khapra Beetle 

Khapra Beetle (Hungry Pests pest card) (Spanish version here

Light Brown Apple Moth [Do we want to include this given we’re seeking deregulation?] 

Light Brown Apple Moth (Hungry Pests pest card) (Spanish version here

Old World Bollworm 

Pest Alert: Old World Bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera) (pest alert)

Alerta de plagas: gusano cogollero (Helicoverpa armigera) (pest alert, Spanish) 

Potato Cyst Nematode 

Potato Cyst Nematode National Survey Plan: "Looking" To Keep Potato Markets Open (brochure)

Pest Alert: Potato Cyst Nematodes (pest alert); In Spanish: Alerta de Plagas: Nematodos del Quiste de la Papa 

Spotted Lanternfly

Pest Alert: Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) (pest alert); In Spanish: Alerta de plagas: Mosca linterna con manchas (Lycorma delicatula) 

Spotted Lanternfly: Look Before You Leave

Businesses can help stop the spotted lanternfly (video)

Los negocios pueden ayudar a detener a la mosca linterna con manchas (video, Spanish) (Businesses can help stop the spotted lanternfly) 

Sudden Oak Death

Sudden Oak Death (Hungry Pests pest card) (Spanish version here)

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