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Congressman Langworthy: Protecting Farmers against the Asian Spotted Lanternfly

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Watch speech on the floor of the US House of Representatives

” ….if you see one of these nasty bugs, squish it and report it”

By US Congressman Nick Langworthy of the 23rd Congressional District, photos from NYS DEC

The Spotted Lanternfly invasion in the Northeast United States has had a devastating impact on farmers and crop production. This colorful little bug is an economic monster, and I am proud to support an added provision in H.R. 4368 , the FY24 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, for nearly $19 Million to protect our farmers, safeguard our crops and preserve the future of our agricultural communities from the devastating effects of this pest.

The Spotted Lanternfly, native to parts of Asia, has proven to be an aggressive and destructive pest that threatens our specialty crops including grapes and apples. You know it’s a problem when even the New York Times is publishing articles like the one titled: Spotted Lanternflies are Back. You Should Still Kill Them.

This species was originally found in Pennsylvania in 2014, and wasn’t officially recorded in New York until August of 2020 when it was discovered in Staten Island. Since then, it has moved up into the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys reaching as far upstate as Tompkins County with some sightings in Erie County. According to the New York DEC, the Southern Tier west of Elmira has been untouched so far and I am hoping that our effort can help keep it that way.  

No farms mean no food, and growing up in South Dayton, I shared the bus ride to school with many children born to generational family farmers. Farm life is tough enough without an invasive species coming for your crops. This fly species puts thousands of agricultural jobs at risk. I believe we owe it to our farmers to make sure that their hard work does not get eaten up before even making it to the dinner table. I am proud to fight for our farmers and lobby for this critical funding.

In the meantime – if you see one of these nasty bugs, squish it and report it.

Link to report: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/a08d60f6522043f5bd04229e00acdd63

More information from the NYS DEC: https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/113303.html

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