Got Kudzu? Call Your Ag Department

This noxious vine weed is trouble waiting to grow and spread.

Kudzu, an invasive climbing vine, has crept out of the South northward even into Pennsylvania. And it's a prime overwintering host for Asian soybean rust, a potentially devastating soybean crop disease.

That's why Mid-Atlantic rural landowners and all residents are encouraged to report the noxious weed to state agricultural authorities. If you suspect that a rapidly growing vine with alternating leaves, purple flowers and fuzzy brown seed pods is such a plant, take action. This weed already has taken root in Lebanon and Lancaster counties of Pennsylvania, and has prompted state agricultural officials to put out an alert.

Pennsylvania residents are encouraged to call the Department of Agriculture to report findings of kudzu, an invasive, climbing vine that has become a problem in some regions of the state. The toll-free hotline number is 1-877-464-9333.

"Kudzu grows over and around other plants, and can be devastating to native plant species," notes Ag Secretary Dennis Wolff. "This toll-free service makes it easier for Pennsylvanians to report suspected kudzu findings, which will help us better treat affected areas through early detection, rapid response and restoration."

By the end of last year, 23 locations had enrolled in the eradication program, which involves treating sites for three consecutive years and helping property owners in controlling the weed.

Not sure if that weed is kudzu? Find out by visiting www.agriculture.state.pa.us. Click on "Animal and Plant Health."

TAGS: USDA
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