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Moth Discovery Prompts Agriculture Quarantine

Your browser does not support this object. View the original here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQbZZS6bnYw

Video published August 13, 2010 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: How will local farmers be affected by the light brown apple moth quarantine? We speak to a nursery owner and the county's agriculture commissioner about the risks the moth poses to local agriculture, and the challenges the quarantine will create for farmers who ship products out of the state.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY'S AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY IS ON ALERT THIS WEEK, AFTER THE DISCOVERY OF TESTS NEAR BALBOA PARK, PROMPTED A QUARANTINE OF THE SURROUNDING AREA. THE LIGHT BROWN IS NEEDED IN AUSTRALIA, AND BEGAN IMPACTING NORTHERN CALIFORNIA FARMERS IN 2007. COMMISSIONER BOB ATKINS HOSTED AN INFORMATIONAL MEETING ABOUT THE PESTS THIS WEEK TO PREPARE LOCAL GROWERS FOR A POTENTIAL COUNTY WIDE QUARANTINE. WE SPOKE WITH COMMISSIONER ATKINS SPECIAL SOME GROWERS ABOUT WHAT THIS COULD MEAN TO THEIR BUSINESS.

THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT ALL SIX MONTHS HAVE BEEN TRAPPED IN VERY TIGHT AREA. AND WE HAVE THAT AREA SATURATED WITH 300 TRAPS. SO THAT'S THE POINT OF USING THOSE, TO PINPOINT WHERE THE INFESTATION IS. AT THAT POINT, IT'S A LITTLE EARLY TO TELL. BUT IT DOES GIVE US CONFIDENCE THAT WE ONLY HAVE TWO LOCATIONS FOR THE SIX MONTHS. IT SUGGESTS THAT WE'RE PROBABLY VERY CLOSE TO WHERE THEY ARE. THERE ARE TWO QUARANTINES. THE STATE QUARANTINE IS REFERENCED BY THE USDA QUARANTINE. AND IT'S ALSO THE SMALLER OF THE TWO. IT'S WITHIN A MILE AND A HALF OF WHERE THE INSECTS WERE FOUND. THEY'RE EAST OF BALBOA PARK. THERE HAVE TO BE TREATMENTS AND TRAPPING. AN ONGOING TREATMENT PROGRAM IN THE NURSERIES TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY HAVE ALL PESTS UNDER CONTROL. THERE'S TRAPPING. ONE TRAP FOR EVERY FIVE ACRES. AND THERE HAVE TO BE BIWEEKLY INSPECTIONS. OF THE NURSERY STOCK. IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO SHIFT OUT OF THE QUARANTINE AREA.

WE'RE WORRIED NOT ONLY ABOUT OUR NURSERY STOCK BEING HELD OUT. HELD OUT FOR INTERSTATE SHIP. S, BUT OUR COMMODITIES AS WELL. WE WERE JUST FINISHING WITH THE MED FLY, AS FAR AS SPRAYING AND KEEPING WITH COMPLIANCE AND ALL OF THAT. NOW WE HAVE THINGS STARTING. WE HAVE A LOT OF COMMODITIES UP NORTH. AND WE SHIFT OUT OF STATE.

AT THIS POINT TDOES NOT APPEAR TO BE OF ANY IMPACT TO ME. AT LEAST THIS YEAR. I'VE ALREADY PICKED MOST OF THE GLORIES IN THE FALLBROOK AREA HAVE PICKED THEIR CROP FOR THE YEAR.

THEY SAID THAT ORGANIC FARMERS HAVE BEEN HIT THE HARDEST, UP IN THE NORTH. BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY THEY'RE NOT USING THE SAME PESTICIDES THAT WILL BE USED ON A CONVENTIONAL FARMS VERSUS AN ORGANIC FARM. SO, YOU KNOW, POTENTIALLY IT COULD HIT US HARD.

Reporter: THE PUBLIC NEEDS TO EVER BE MINDFUL THAT THEY'RE TAKING A RISK WHEN THEY MOVE PLANTS. AND THEY SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT WITH THE AGSULT L CULT -- AGRICULTURAL COMMISSIONER WHEN THEY MOVE PLANTS PARTICULARLY FROM ONE AREA TO ANOTHER. AND TO BE GENERALLY AWARE OF THESE NEW PLANT QUARANTINES THAT WE HAVE. THERE IS AN EXCELLENT RESOURCE AT THE CDFA WEBSITE. AND AT OUR WEBSITE, WE HAVE LINKS TO THAT. IF YOU'RE MOVING FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER, YOU CAN DO A QUICK CHECK TO SEE WHAT QUARANTINES ARE IN PLACE.

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