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Tom Corbett, GovernorGeorge Greig, Secretary
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Bureau of Plant Industry

Description

Keeping Pennsylvania Growing is taken very literally in this Bureau. The Bureau of Plant Industry provides services to maintain and protect Pennsylvania agriculture through both consumer protection and product regulation.

The Bureau is home to four distinct divisions:

Plant Health is responsible for the identification and regulatory control of plants parasitic nematodes, fungi, bacteria and viruses that impact Pennsylvania's natural resources and abundant flora. Licensing of Plant Merchants is housed in this division, along with program support for inspection of nurseries and greenhouses and specialized nursery certification programs such as the Fruit Tree Improvement Program. The backbone of the Plant Health Division is a multifaceted plant disease diagnostic laboratory that supports regulatory inspection programs and participates in survey and outreach programs for detection of invasive plant diseases.

Agronomic and Regional Services administers the feed, fertilizer, seed, soil/plant amendment and lime programs to protect the natural resources and agronomic products produced and used across the state. Regulation of pet food and animal feed mill inspections are included, as are consumer complaint investigations and seed certifications. This division administers the state's Commercial Feed Law, Fertilizer Law, Seed Law, Seed Certification Law, Soil and Plant Amendment Law and Lime Law.

Health and Safety manages the registration of pesticide products as well as the certification of pesticide applicators. On-farm safety and worker protection efforts are also headed-up by this division. Outreach education is done in collaboration with Penn State University's Office of Pesticide Education. Responsibilities also include administering the EPA Pesticide Cooperative Grant Agreement, Pesticide Control Act, Farm Safety and Occupational Health Act and provisions of the Land Recycling Act.

Entomology within the Bureau of Plant Industry at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA), the Entomology Program is responsible for the detection, delimitation and regulation of invasive and potentially destructive or harmful insect species affecting the agricultural industry in the Commonwealth. Insects are determined to be pests of regulatory concern by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), who then initiates a program to determine the scale of impact by instituting a regional, national or international survey program. The goal of this program, whether to eradicate or to manage the population, is dependent on many factors, including population size, mode of distribution, economic impact, and protection of public and private property. In many cases, local, regional or national quarantines are issued to limit the spread of the pest.

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