Schatz Pushes for Federal Aid in Fighting Invasive Insect

February 12, 2020, 10:50 AM HST (Updated February 12, 2020, 10:50 AM)
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Sen. Brian Schatz. Wikimedia image.

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) called on the Secretary of Agriculture to provide immediate support in efforts to control an invasive pest threatening Hawai‘i Island’s livestock industry.

The two-lined spittlebug, native to the southern United States, was first discovered on the Big Island in 2016, when it damaged nearly 2,000 acres of grazing land. Since then, the invasive pest has devastated more than 125,000 acres of pasture grass.

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“This invasive pest could destroy Hawai‘i’s proud heritage of ranching by decimating the pastures that allow Hawai‘i cattle to grow strong and healthy,” Schatz wrote in his letter to Secretary Sonny Perdue. “Our ranchers need your help urgently to maintain this vibrant part of Hawai‘i’s agricultural economy.”

Schatz called for immediate federal aid for Hawai‘i Island ranchers affected by the pest and additional resources to help save critical grazing land from further destruction.

The full text of the letter is below and can also be found here.

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