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UK seeks views on Japanese knotweed control

The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is seeking public comment on a proposal to use the non-native psyllid, Aphalara itadori, to help control Japanese knotweed ( Fallopia japonica). Japanese knotweed is a non-native weed that was introduced to the UK as an ornamental plant in the early nineteenth century. The DEFRA is considering an application for a licence to release the psyllid to attack the weed. This would help reduce the cost of control, which the DEFRA estimated at £1,560 million ($2,568 million at the current rate) in 2003 ( Agrow No 544, p 14). If a licence is issued, the psyllid will be released and monitored at a small number of sites initially, followed by wider release in England and Wales. The deadline for public comment is October 19th.

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