USDA Allocates More Money To Combat Moth

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced this week that it has released an additional $1.75 million in Farm Bill funding to prevent the spread of European grapevine moth (EGVM) in California.

“After increased detections of the pest in California in recent weeks, it is clear that additional funding is needed to ensure we can respond quickly and effectively to protect California’s grape and wine industries,” APHIS Administrator Cindy Smith said. “APHIS has identified available funding from Section 10201 of the 2008 Farm Bill that can be dedicated to stopping the spread of this devastating pest at an early stage.”

APHIS, California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), and county officials are working together to detect, determine the infestation boundaries of and control this pest. The goal is to address EGVM before it has the opportunity to spread and require greater resources from government agencies and growers.

In addition, APHIS has created a technical working group comprised of U.S. and international EGVM experts to study the situation in California, review the most current data and recommend science-based response strategies.

EGVM (Lobesia botrana) is a significant pest of grapes. The moth is found in Europe, the Mediterranean, southern Russia, Japan, the Middle East, Near East and northern and western Africa. Since 1986, surveys for this pest have been conducted throughout the United States without detections.

However, in the fall of 2009, EGVM was found in California, its first detection both in the United States and North America. To date, CDFA has established quarantines based on EGVM detections in Fresno, Mendocino, Merced, Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties.

More information about APHIS’ EGVM program isavailable here.

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