BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A new pest known for attacking certain kinds of crops in Louisiana has been identified.
In a Friday release sent by the Lousiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, the pest, called the root-knot nematode, has a high production rate and attacks soybean sugarcane, tomatoes and sweet potato crops.
"The nematode species is often transported by equipment," said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. "Cleaning soil off of equipment, including tires and footwear before going to another field is one of the best ways to reduce the spread of this nematode."
The pest was first identified in Florida in 2001 and North Carolina in 2011. The latest case has been located in Morehouse Parish.
The LSU AgCenter will begin a statewide nematode survey to determine if the pest is in other areas of the state.
LDAF is working with a producer to reduce the spread of the nematode and monitor the situation.
Contact the department if you suspect the pest on your property at 225-952-8100.