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Home > Plants, Pests & Pest Control > Insects & Pests > Japanese Beetle > Japanese Beetle Harmonization Plan Update

Japanese Beetle Harmonization Plan Update


Japanese Beetle Harmonization Plan Revised

The US Domestic Japanese Beetle Harmonization Plan (JB DHP) was created in 1998 to slow the spread of Japanese Beetles across the United States. Japanese beetles (JB) are highly destructive plant pests that attack foliage, flowers, and fruits of more than 300 ornamental and agricultural plants. Several regulatory issues and the dramatic spread of JB in the United States required significant changes to the plan, which will go into effect on January 1, 2017.

Each state is evaluated for its level of JB infestation. Category 1 states are JB free and have external quarantines to prohibit the entry of JB into their state. These states are generally west of the Rocky Mountains. Category 2 states have some level of JB but are considered uninfested or only partially infested. They have quarantines and protocols to eliminate or contain JB to its current locations in the state. Category 3 states are generally or partially infested and do not regulate JB within the state. Category 4 states are unlikely to become infested due to environmental factors and the state does not plan to take any measures to limit the introduction of JB into the state because of the low risk. Due to increased numbers of Japanese beetles found, Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri have been changed from Category 2 to Category 3 states. This means that nursery stock shipments from other Category 3 states (Eastern US) do not require separate certification for JB. However, nursery stock should still be generally free of JB because much of Minnesota remains JB-free. Similarly, Minnesota nurseries shipping to eastern states can do so without any exceptional treatments or certification requirements.

The most important revision to the JB DHP affects Minnesota nurseries planning to ship to western states, including the Dakotas, using JB-free certification via soil sampling for grubs. Soil sampling remains an option for most of these states. However, only one JB grub is permitted IN ALL SOIL SAMPLES FROM A SITE. In the last version of the JB DHP one JB grub was allowed per sample. This change is very significant because many Minnesota sites were previously certified with several grubs present but only one grub per individual soil sample.

Another major revision to the JB DHP is requirements for Adult JB Mitigation by nurseries shipping to Category 1 and 2 states. Shipping nurseries must have systems in place to ensure that no adult JB are shipped on nursery stock from June 1 through September 30. These systems must include production practices which assure that:

  • The regulated article(s) is/are free of adult JB prior to loading
  • The shipping vehicle/container is free of adult JB
  • The holding and loading area(s) is/are free of adult JB
  • Regulated article(s) is/are safeguarded during shipment through Minnesota June 1-September 30
  • Regulated article(s) is/are safeguarded from re-infestation during the loading and holding process.

The JB DHP has examples to comply with these provisions (for example trainer/container inspections and tarping open trailers).

The other area of significant change relates to interstate shipments of sod. Shipments can be made to Category 2 states providing the sod producer has a compliance agreement with the Department and maintains a JB management plan. The plan must include the following:

  • Maintenance of a JB adulticide program on the sod-farm periphery AND
  • Removal of JB-attractive plant species from the immediate growing area (where practical) AND
  • Application of approved insecticide treatments to the sod, AND
  • Inspection of sod AT THE TIME OF HARVEST for presence of JB larvae, pupae and adults AND
  • Visual inspection at time of shipment for adult JB.

The compliance agreement would allow trained nursery staff to conduct the required inspections at time of harvest and shipment (if delayed). If more than 1 (one) of either a larva, pupa, or adult beetle is found during sod harvest or at the time of shipment, the load is NOT eligible for certification. Vehicles transporting sod must be moved directly through the infested areas (which is the entire state of Minnesota) without stopping except for refueling or for traffic conditions. Harvested sod can only be stored, packed or handled at locations approved by an inspector as not posing a risk to infestation by JB.

Other sod revisions that may prove challenging to sod producers wishing to ship interstate are the requirements that a JB grub treatment be applied between April 1 and July 31 and that the sod cannot be shipped until either a half inch of rainfall or half inch of irrigation occurs. Many sod fields in Minnesota are not irrigated so harvesting and shipping sod cannot occur until the required rainfall occurs.

Visit the National Plant Board website for more information about the Japanese Beetle Harmonization Plan.

If you have any questions about the harmonization plan or interstate shipments of sod or nursery stock, contact Mark Schreiber at Mark.Schreiber@state.mn.us or 651-201-6388, Stephanie Visker at Stephanie.Visker@state.mn.us or 651-201-6558, or Steven Shimek at Steven.Shimek@state.mn.us or 651-201-6619.

Last Updated: August 18, 2016