Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Just When you thought that the Sharpshooter was controlled.

Light Brown Apple Moth Update –
a. The moth has been discovered from Marin to north Monterey County. Santa Cruz has experienced much of the infestation.
b. In Monterey County, all moths that have been detected have been in the North County area – Espinosa to Pajaro, 101 to 1
c. The priority is on nurseries.
d. For infested areas, the requirements will include trapping and inspection within 30 days of shipment.
e. For non-infested areas, the requirements will include trapping at normal levels (through King City). This is currently set at one trap per square mile in rural areas and five traps per square mile in residential areas.
f. Background: It looks like the pest could have been active for a few years. It is a pest in grapes in Australia. The impact includes bunch rot.
g. A technical working group is coming to California next week to address the issue. A seminar is being held at the Santa Cruz Fairgrounds in Watsonville on May 10th at 2:30.

Eric also sent out a memo on the moth last week. The text of that memo is below.

Based upon the discovery of Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) in the San Francisco Bay Area, on April 10, 2007, Agricultural Commissioner staff began deploying detection traps in Monterey County for LBAM. The first LBAM in Monterey County was trapped in Prunedale on April 13th and then one was found in Las Lomas on April 16th. On April 24th, two more moths were trapped in Seaside. Additional traps have been placed around the County and delimitation trapping is underway surrounding the confirmed finds. To date, 26 LBAM adults have been confirmed in the County near Prunedale, Las Lomas and the two in Seaside. I have attached a map of confirmed finds in Monterey County for your reference. Statewide there have been more than 1500 confirmed moths, with over 1300 of those being from Santa Cruz County. Eight counties are affected, from Marin to Monterey.

On April 23rd, the State of California imposed a State Interior Quarantine on the first five counties where LBAM was detected. The quarantine regulates the movement of nursery stock, cut flowers, green waste, and all harvested commodities of host plants, which includes strawberries, grapes and cole crops. Monterey County was not included in this action, but will be added to it along with Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties. On April 25 the State of Florida imposed a state quarantine on all nursery stock and cut flowers from California. A Federal Order is expected today that will impose quarantine restrictions on nursery stock and all fruits and vegetables from Monterey County. The federal action will supersede any state quarantine.

While we anticipate in the federal order a focus on plant material with high risk of moving LBAM, such as nursery stock, all plant commodities grown in the County will be affected to some degree. The details are not known at this time, but will likely include any or all of the following: inspection of fields and specific shipments of commodities, inspections at coolers, detection trapping, establishment of compliance agreements with producers and shippers and others, and treatments to control LBAM on commodities. We anticipate that these measures will require significant staffing resources and naturally, it will have great impact on our agricultural industry. The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are preparing to send additional resources to the County.

We are communicating regularly with state, federal and local regulatory agencies and with the affected industry groups. The situation remains very dynamic, but the release of the Federal Order should provide some direction. USDA has assembled a Technical Working Group of subject matter experts, who will meet in California during the week of May 14th, and make recommendations on survey techniques, quarantine measures, mitigation tools and management strategies.

Eric Lauritzen Agricultural Commissioner

No comments: