Monday, 26 September 2022

Apple moth bill flies out of Senate

SACRAMENTO – On Tuesday, the state Senate voted 35-1 to approve urgency legislation to create a light brown apple moth advisory task force.


The bill, SB 556, was introduced by Sen. Patricia Wiggins.


SB 556 would create a task force to advise Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura on the apple moth and the environmental and economic impact of its spread across the state.


Kawamura would choose the task force members, who would then be responsible for submitting a report to him on the apple moth issue by Sept. 1.


The moth, native to Australia, was discovered in the Bay Area in February, and has since spread to nine counties – Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, and San Mateo.


The latest situation report from the Department of Food and Agriculture and the US Department of Agriculture shows that trapping is going on in 45 counties – including Lake – with 23,048 traps out and 3,348 moths confirmed.


As a result of the pest's spread, both the Department of Food & Agriculture and the USDA have instituted quarantines and special inspection requirements on plant materials originating from the counties where the moths have been found.


The moth has an estimated 250 host plants, including pears, grapes, citrus, ornamentals and stone fruits.


Wiggins said the apple moth “poses a significant threat” to the state's agriculture industry. Key to protecting that industry, she said, is understanding the potential impacts of the moth's presence and aggressively controlling its spread.


Now that it has been approved by the full Senate, the Wiggins bill eads to the Assembly for consideration. Because it is considered urgency legislation, SB 556 would take effect immediately upon signing by the governor.


SB 556 is supported by the Family Winemakers of California, California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers, California Association of Pest Control Advisors, California Association of Winegrape Growers, California Citrus Mutual, Nisei Farmers League and the Wine Institute, Wiggins' office reported.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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