The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released $16.9 million in emergency funding to prevent the spread of the European grapevine moth in California.
The moth, first detected in California in the fall of 2009, is a serious threat to vineyards, causing grapes to rot and decay.
“California farmers face a variety of challenges, and this funding will help them combat an emerging pest before it grows into a major threat,” said Congressman Dennis Cardoza. “We worked to get this funding in the last Farm Bill because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure for growers. As this money is distributed, I will be listening to growers in the Central Valley to make sure it is being used effectively to fight the spread of the European grapevine moth.”
Barry Bedwell, President of the California Grape & Tree Fruit League, said, “Growers in California welcome this much-needed funding, and we thank Rep. Cardoza for making pest eradication a priority in the last Farm Bill. We must be aggressive in fighting the European grapevine moth, and the timely release of this federal funding is paramount to combating this terrible pest.”
Bruce Blodgett, Executive Director of the San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation, added, “(We) applaud USDA for making these funds available to fight this emerging pest. Working with USDA and our state and local stakeholders, we are confident that these funds will help us eradicate this moth so we can prevent further impact to our economy.”
Congressman Cardoza worked to prioritize funding for pest and disease detection and control in the 2008 Farm Bill. Through that legislation, Congress authorized $377 million over 10 years to fight crop pests, including the new allotment for European grapevine moth eradication.
The funding was released by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, which is working with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, county officials, industry leaders, and the University of California Cooperative Extension to conduct response activities to the European grapevine moth.
These efforts include outreach, surveys, quarantine enforcement and grower-led treatments. To date, APHIS and CDFA have established quarantine areas in all or portions of Fresno, Mendocino, Merced, Napa, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma counties to prevent the moth’s spread.