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July 27, 2016


Low Pathogenicity Avian Influenza in the NJ, NY and PA live bird market system – During the Independence Day weekend DAH staff members were busy trying to stop the spread of avian influenza in the live bird market system (LBM). On 6/29/16, H5 LPAI was detected by NVSL in Muscovy duck samples collected from a LBM in Philadelphia County Pennsylvania and another LBM in Kings County New York. The ducks were delivered to the LBMs through a NY based poultry distributor; the farm source was traced to Canada. Eleven (11) NJ LBMs were identified as receiving Muscovy ducks from the index distributor. On 7/1/16 eleven (11) LBMs were sampled. Samples from 10 markets were positive and sent to the NVSL for confirmatory testing. On 7/1/16, seven (7) additional LBMs were identified as receiving ducks from the index distributor. Three additional markets tested positive. Markets were allowed to sell down the birds for 72 hours and then were depopulated and cleaned and disinfected. Markets were allowed to re-stock after the disinfection. Thirty six LBMs were tested and they are all back in operation. The index farm in Canada is being tested and investigated by the Canadian authorities.

Summer Food Service Program - On July 7th the Summer Food Service Program Kick-Off Event was held at the Paterson Board of Education summer meals site, located at Pennington Park, Paterson, NJ.   Division staff and Secretary Fisher attended the event. Secretary Fisher greeted children, along with James Harmon, US Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service Regional Director, and Paterson BOE Food Service Director, David Buchholtz.

Suspension of Administrative Fees for the 2016-2017 School Year - Administrative Fees charged to the school districts for USDA Foods (from the warehouse and for processed commodities) will be once again suspended for the 2016-2017 School Year. The New Jersey Department of Agriculture has received funds from USDA enabling us to reduce the costs that are passed on to the school districts. The suspension of funds will only be for the 2016-2017 School Year. The Administrative Fees will be reinstated for the 2017-2018 School Year if additional funding is not received from USDA at the end of next school year.

European foul brood - This year, there has been a sharp increase in the prevalence of European foulbrood disease (EFB). This is a bacterial disease that effects honey bee larvae before the capped stage of their development. European foulbrood disease is characterized by dead and dying larvae which can appear curled upwards, brown or yellow, melted, and/or dried out and rubbery. The causative bacteria, Melissococcus plutonius is ingested by honey bee larvae and competes for food inside the larvae. If the bacterium out-competes the larva, the larva will die before the cell is capped. Alternatively, the bee may survive to develop into an adult if the infected larvae have sufficient food resources.

The Bee informed Partnership with the University of Maryland has suspicions that something else may be killing the larva, and the secondary bacteria associated with EFB overgrow the dead larva to mask the real cause of the honeybee larvae death.

Gypsy Moth - The statewide aerial gypsy moth defoliation survey began on June 16th and was completed on July 12th. Delays in conducting the survey were primarily due to rainy and foggy weather conditions throughout the state. Information from the survey will be used to contact the administrations of the affected municipalities to conduct municipal ground egg mass surveys beginning in the fall.

Initial defoliation levels are much less dramatic than what was observed in 2015. Primary reasons for the decline in gypsy moth populations are primarily due to a successful treatment program along with an increase of Entomophaga maimaiga activity due to the rainy spring time weather.

Allium Leaf Miner - The Allium leaf miner, Phytomyza gymnostoma, has been positively identified for the first time on a New Jersey farm in Asbury, Warren County.  This is a pest of onion, garlic, chives, leeks and shallots. Rutgers extension personnel collected samples from the farm a few months ago and had them sent to the USDA for confirmation.   Once they collected the samples, they released information and pesticide control measures to the growers. So far in the US the only other findings of this insect were in Lancaster and Bucks Counties, Pennsylvania.  It is a developing pest in Europe, which has caused significant damage and is spreading.  Most of the significant economic damage would be expected on organic farms where their treatments may be ineffective.  There are two generations a year with this insect and management is mainly focused on survey and insecticidal treatments when found.  The Division is planning to conduct surveys of growers in the area during the fall to determine the level and extent of the infestations.

Jersey Fresh Availability & Forecast Report - The seasonal "Jersey Fresh Availability & Forecast Report" continues to update the regions produce industry, Cooperative Extension staff, Department personnel, restaurateurs, Jersey Fresh licensed growers, and food media communicators on the current and future availability of Jersey Fresh produce. The New Jersey Agricultural Statistics Service also disseminates this information in a weekly report. The report indicates the general quality and quantity of produce available in the marketplace. This information can help buyers with their purchasing and marketing decisions as they relate to Jersey products since retailers typically design their store circulars and marketing strategies three to four weeks in advance. By making the advance availability of farm products known to buyers, the Department can make a bottom line difference in farm agri-business profitability and sustainability. The Department also helps retailers to provide the best quality and value that Jersey Fresh can offer to their customers.

Jersey Fresh Social Media - Staff continues to film, edit and promote the Jersey Fresh Recipe video series. Since last month, Jersey Fresh Blueberry Monkey Bread and Jersey Fresh Blueberry Hill Muffins videos have been completed and shared on the Jersey Fresh social media channels. Engagement on these video posts has been successful with high reach and viewer numbers for example the Monkey Bread post reached 7,800 people with 3,000 video views. The Blueberry Hill Muffin post was boosted as of 7/14 with anticipated additional reach between 4,000 and 11,000 viewers. Other videos will be filmed and edited in-house that highlight seasonal Jersey produce throughout the year.