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Invasive Moth Worries County Farmers

Pest Could Devour County’s Agricultural Economy

Audio

Aired 8/6/10

Farmers in San Diego County are hoping that agricultural officials come up empty when inspecting traps for an invasive pest. The insect could have a serious impact on local farmers.

Farmers in San Diego County are hoping that agricultural officials come up empty when inspecting traps for an invasive pest. The insect could have a serious impact on local farmers.

Officials are checking traps to determine if the light brown apple moth has spread from where the pest was found last week in San Diego. The moth feeds on leaves and fruit.

Janet Kister is the co-owner of Sunlet Nursery in Fallbrook, which grows indoor flowering and selected foliage plants.

Kister, along with other county farmers, is waiting to see what turns up in traps.

"We're hoping that when they do the inspections on the traps that they don't find any more," said Kister. "They could've just been hitchhikers that came from with whatever product they came in on."

Nursery crops like Kister's account for about two-thirds of San Diego County's $1.5 billion agriculture industry.

Agricultural officials are holding a meeting next Tuesday in Fallbrook to talk to farmers about a potential county-wide quarantine.

Comments

Avatar for user 'StanRoller'

StanRoller | August 5, 2010 at 6:20 p.m. ― 3 years, 8 months ago

There is NO THREAT caused by the LBAM ANYWHERE it is found in the world. The moth has been in the state for decades and has, by CDFA's own admission in their EIR, NOT CAUSED ANY DAMAGE in the state. The moth was misclassified decades ago and the USDA and CDFA refuse to respect modern research and knowledge regarding the real threat of this innocuous insect. In New Zealand, where it has been found for more then 100 years (this is true also for Hawaii, the UK, and everywhere it is native or has been introduced) farmers are required to provide only LBAM-free produce if they intend to export to the US. New Zealand farmers are not subject to quarantines, do not have to have LBAM-free farms, and the government helps these farmers with useful information on control. Our CDFA and USDA are not there to help just prevent farmers from doing their jobs and imposing restrictions. LBAM is easy to control with organic IPM methods.

The ONLY threat of LBAM is the inspections and draconian quarantines imposed on our farmers and the violation of our farms and businesses by the CDFA/USDA. The media (including Ed Joyce) need to check the facts they publish and not simply echo agency misinformation.

Resist the quarantines, ask questions, get educated (Northern California resisted after the CDFA sprayed regions of Santa Cruz and Monterey counties with synthetic chemicals never meant for or tested for exposure to humans and without any efficacy tests on how these treatments might work). Refuse to sign compliance agreements. Stand up and fight with legal challenges. LBAM is not a threat our ag agencies are the real threat.

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