On September 7, 2007, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the detection of panicle rice mite (PRM), Steneotarsonemus spinki, at a rice research facility in Stuttgart, Arkansas. This facility, which is used as an experimental research station, is operated by USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. PRM detections occurred within greenhouses at this research facility.
APHIS notified the Arkansas Department of Agriculture of this confirmed detection and is currently conducting surveys to delimit this infestation on the grounds of the facility. In addition, APHIS’ PRM technical working group, which was established in response to the PRM detection in Texas, is considering survey and control strategies in response to this latest detection.
APHIS issued Emergency Action Notifications to stop movement of all rice seed, rice plants, and plant parts and farm equipment from the affected greenhouses. A trace-back and trace-forward investigation is underway to determine the means of this pest’s introduction at this research facility. Managers of the research facility are being fully cooperative in this investigation.
On September 14, 2007, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) also confirmed the detection of PRM at a rice research facility in Ithaca, New York. This facility, which is used as an experimental research station, is operated by an educational institution. PRM detections occurred within a greenhouse at this research facility.
APHIS notified the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets of this confirmed detection. The APHIS’ PRM technical working group is considering survey and control strategies in response to this latest detection.
To date APHIS has confirmed PRM detections at rice research facilities in Texas (July 13), Puerto Rico (August 1), Louisiana (August 20) and now Arkansas (September 7) and New York (September 14). There are two main reported hosts of RPM, rice, Oryza sativa, and the weedy red rice, Oryza latifolia. PRM is considered a serious rice pest and can cause substantial crop losses. Yield losses can range from 30 to 90 percent.
Under IPPC standards, the status of Steneotarsonemus spinki in the United States is considered to be transient, actionable, and under surveillance.