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Tuesday, 08 June 2010 17:08

US invests a further $1.75m to fight grape moth

European grapevine moth becomes public enemy #1.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today announced that it has released an additional $1.75 million 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 ... 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 (officially names "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 the European Grapevine moth, click here to go to the USDA website.



Corkhound explains... phylloxera

A louse accidentally imported into France from the US around 1850. While US vines were resistant to the bugs, the roots of French vines were attacked and resulted in the death of the vine. The bug quickly spread across France, devastating most of it. Although there is no "cure" to Phylloxera, the solution is to 'grub up' (dig up) the vines and replant the vineyard: grafting the French grape on to an American root. This is obviously expensive. A few regions have so far avoided the virus: for example, Chile.