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Local Farmers To Learn About State Moth Quarantine

Six light brown apple moths have been found near Balboa Park in recent weeks. The moths can devastate plants and produce. Agricultural officials plan to meet with local farmers in Fallbrook Tuesday to talk about containing the pests.

Local growers will learn about state restrictions on transporting plants and produce that are expected to go into effect later this week. The quarantine will stretch one-and-a-half miles from two sites where the moths have been trapped.

A pending federal quarantine that could affect the entire county is more concerning to many farmers and nursery owners.

San Diego County Agricultural Commissioner Bob Atkins said his agency is proposing federal restrictions only be applied within a 15-mile radius of where moths are found.

“There are over 1,700 counties, that is more than half of them, that are actually smaller than that quarantine area that we are proposing,” he said.

Federal restrictions would apply mostly to produce and plants leaving the state. Atkins says about 300 of San Diego’s 5,000 farms and nurseries have regular out-of-state shipments.

It could take until October 1 for federal restrictions to be set.

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