The USDA has been visiting neighborhoods throughout the Hudson Valley in search of a devastating virus named PPV.

You may have received a flyer on your doorknob this week asking permission to enter your property. Before throwing it away, you may want to consider cooperating. The Department of Agriculture is going door to door looking for evidence of the Plumb Pox Virus.

PPV is an especially serious plant disease that is a major threat to crops throughout our area. Besides commercial agriculture, the virus can also destroy ornamental plants. The virus severely reduces fruit yield and quality, devastating crops and farms. Stone fruits, such as plums, cherries and peaches are especially susceptible to PPV.

Survey personnel is asking permission to enter yards and private property to look for evidence of PPV. USDA scientists will be taking samples of leaves from shrubs and trees and inspecting plants. Because the disease is spread by insects it may be necessary to inspect certain areas annually to stay on top of the spread of PPV.

The USDA asks that you grant permission for them to enter your yard. If you wish to make an appointment so you can be present during the inspection, officials are willing to make special accommodations.