Pennsylvania Department of agriculture

Pennsyvlania Department of Agriculture

Invasive insects can have devastating impacts on native plants and trees, as evidenced by the Emerald Ash Borer’s effect on the state’s ash trees.

That insect was first found in Michigan in 2002; it continued to spread and has wiped out tens of millions of ash trees nationwide, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Now there’s another bug to worry about – the Spotted Lanterfly. The pest was first spotted last fall in Berks County.

“We believe it’s been here a season or two, so it can live here, it can survive here, it’s been tested,” said Russell Redding, Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary. “What we want to do is send it packing.”

Pennsylvania public schools serve roughly 260,000 students with disabilities ages six through 21, about 16 percent of the state’s total student population, according to the U.S. Department of Education. A bill in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives would make it easier for those students to find part-time employment while in high school.

Five townships and two boroughs in Berks County have been placed under quarantine by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in the fight against the Spotted Lanternfly, which was found for the first time in North America in the county earlier this fall.

The quarantine prohibits residents from moving any material or object that could help the spread of the insect, which attacks grapes, apples, stone fruits as well as pines.

Kee Won Song / Special to 90.5 WESA

Agriculture is the leading economic enterprise in Pennsylvania.  Between 1982 and 1997, over a million acres were developed and converted to other uses—the equivalent of 209 acres a day.  In 1988, the state instituted a program to help slow the loss of prime farmland.

Flickr/Roller Coaster Philosophy

Ten days ago, a woman riding the “Texas Giant” at the Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, Texas., fell to her death from the 14-story roller coaster, and the investigation of the death is ongoing.

Texas Department of Insurance requires yearly inspections of amusement rides by the park’s independent insurance company. In Pennsylvania and Ohio, the states’ departments of agriculture regulate ride inspection. Ohio requires yearly, mid-season and spot inspections. Six states, Alabama, Nevada, Mississippi, South Dakota, Wyoming and Utah, don't have any inspection requirements.

PA's Anti-Puppy Mill Law Enforcement Criticized

Jul 16, 2013

Pennsylvania's independently elected fiscal watchdog says the state is doing a poor job enforcing an anti-puppy mill law that's designed to protect buyers and ensure breeders maintain humane practices.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said in an audit released this week that lax leadership and ineffective program administration plagued the Dog Law Enforcement Office. / Creative Commons

Thanks to the presence of disease and tree-killing insects such as the emerald ash borer, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is reminding residents of the firewood quarantine in place.

People are asked to not move firewood more than 50 miles from its origin, and wood products cannot be moved out of Bucks County at all because of thousand cankers disease.