AG Watch

Quarantine to protect from European Grape Moth

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Ag officials here in the valley are moving forward with an all-out offensive to stop the spread of European Grapevine Moths.

The half-inch insect can destroy entire vineyards quickly, so quarantine is coming next week.

The Fresno county farm bureau says 6 moths have been found so far, four of them within a quarter mile radius from where we're standing. And starting as early as next week, this vineyard and ones within a 5 mile radius, will be under quarantine.

"These grapes are used for raisins or fresh consumption." David Sarabian of Sanger is keeping a close eye on his more than 200 acres of grapes. And it's not just because harvest season is a couple of months away.

He fears the European grape moth will invade his crops and destroy an essential part of his farming business.

"Financially speaking, what would that do to your crop? Oh, number is too big to think of, it would be very big."

To help control the problem, state officials have installed these traps at vineyards all over the valley. They've already caught a few grapevine European moths, and they're hoping to catch more.

"It's very important for our trading partners both domestically and internationally to be assured that we're doing every safeguard possible to ensure we get rid of this past and produce a safe, wholesome product." Ryan Jacobsen is the executive director of the Fresno County Farm Bureau.

In addition to the traps, he says some farms have already been sprayed. But with 6 moths already caught in Fresno County, Jacobsen says they're now forced to take more aggressive measures.

"The quarantine areas have now been unofficially set. They're still working on it a little bit and the officials protocols will be developed over the next week or two."

"We're real concerned about it and I think that we need to get it before it gets any farther out." The moth can spread to other trees like olives and nectarines.

It was first discovered in the United States last year eating up grapes in Napa valley.

In two weeks, farmers here in the valley will have a chance to attend several meetings that have set up to target these issues.

(Copyright ©2014 KFSN-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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fresno county, sanger, ag report, ag watch, shannon handy
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