On July 17, 2014, the PPQ national botanist confirmed the first detection in the United States of Egyptian broomrape (EBR), which is a federal noxious weed. It was discovered in a processing tomato field in Solano County, California. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) submitted the sample.
EBR infects roughly 30 broadleaf plants, including many economically important crops, such as bell pepper, cabbage, carrot, celery, eggplant, melons, potato, tomato, sunflower, and various legumes. Some reports cite up to 50 percent yield reduction in watermelon. EBR occurs in Africa, the Middle East, several Asian countries, and Eastern Europe.
In response to this detection, CDFA and Solano County are cooperating to:
• gather additional information,
• delimit the pest to assess the scope of the infestation,
• determine appropriate next steps for on-site disposal of plant material, and
• remediate the one infested field of approximately 40-acres.
PPQ is monitoring the situation and providing technical support to CDFA. In addition, PPQ Smuggling Interdiction and Trade Compliance personnel are assisting with the trace-forwards and the trace-backs.
Under IPPC standards, Orobanche aegyptiaca is a pest that is transient: actionable, under eradication in the United States.