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Saturday, March 13, 2010 


Or rather, little tiny moths having the economic hit of a monster that size...and they're here.

California grape growers have a new threat to deal with this spring, in addition to perennial concerns about frost and heat: The European grapevine moth has invaded Napa Valley, one of the top U.S. wine-producing regions.

More than 160 square miles (414 square kilometers) have been quarantined, including parts of Napa, Sonoma and Solano counties, after larvae from the non-native moth were discovered, the California Department of Food and Agriculture said yesterday in a statement.

...One grape farmer lost his entire crop last year, according to the Food and Agriculture department. - Business Week

California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura came to the Yountville Community Center Wednesday and spoke briefly at a pest workshop sponsored by the Napa Valley Grapegrowers.

His visit came one day after the state agriculture department and the U.S. Department Agriculture announced a 162-square-mile quarantine in and around Napa Valley against the European grapevine moth for Napa Valley. The quarantine means growers, vintners, and those transporting grapes will have to receive special certification and follow specific safety guidelines and inspections before moving or crushing grapes.

....State budget constraints are making it more difficult to adequately deal with threats to agriculture, he said.

He encouraged farmers to make their voice heard with state lawmakers. No one wants the cuts, Kawamura said, “because it makes you more vulnerable. You have to be vocal. Don’t be afraid to send e-mails and letters.” - Napa Valley Register

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