Exotic pest reaches Michigan, threatening some vegetables - WNEM TV 5

Exotic pest reaches Michigan, threatening some vegetables

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Officials say an exotic insect called the Swede midge has turned up in Michigan for the first time, posing a danger to some vegetable crops.

While in the larval stage, the Swede midge feeds on the growing tip of "cruciferous" plants, which include cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. It causes swelling and distortion of young tissues and severely damages the plants.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development says the pest has been found in five organic production fields in Sanilac County.

It's unclear how the midge got to Michigan. It's a weak flier and usually is spread in infested transplant material.

Michigan State University Extension is working to determine the extent of the infestation in the state.

Vegetables are grown on nearly 3,000 farms in Michigan.

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