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If the aphids do not carry virus, the plants can tolerate a higher number of the insects without much damage, Roberts said.
Over the past year, warm, wet summer conditions have led to stem rust outbreaks in Stevens, Spokane and Whitman counties and beyond, affecting 20 to 100 percent of the plants in a field.
The Washington Noxious Weed Control Board recently listed common barberry as a Class C noxious weed, beginning in 2013.
This allows researchers to educate growers about the plant, Roberts said.
Counties will decide whether to enforce the barberry eradication rule.
It will become the landowner's responsibility to remove barberry bushes as they occur,
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