Lyndsay Cole (970) 494-7410
Lawrence Hawkins (916) 930-5509
WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2012--Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the availability of $8 million in emergency funding to prevent the spread of European grapevine moth (EGVM) in California.
“The European grapevine moth is a significant invasive pest that has the potential to devastate California's $5.7 billion table grape, wine, raisin and other industries, as well as the hundreds-of-thousands of jobs connected to each,” said Vilsack. “The program is a great example of cooperative work between government and industry officials, and this infusion of resources should help ensure the program's future success.”
USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), county officials, affected industry and the University of California Cooperative Extension are cooperating closely to conduct response activities. These efforts include, among other items, outreach, surveys, quarantine enforcement and grower-led treatments.
EGVM ( Lobesia botrana) is a significant pest of grapes. The moth is established in Europe, the Mediterranean, southern Russia, Japan, the Middle East, Near East and northern and western Africa. In the fall of 2009, EGVM was found in California, its first detection both in the United States and North America.
More information about APHIS' EGVM program is available online at www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/eg_moth/index.shtm. In addition, www.hungrypests.com contains a wealth of information about EGVM.
The Obama Administration, with Agriculture Secretary Vilsack's leadership, has worked tirelessly to strengthen rural America, implement the Farm Bill, maintain a strong farm safety net, and create opportunities for America's farmers and ranchers. U.S. agriculture is currently experiencing one of its best periods in history thanks to the productivity, resiliency, and resourcefulness of our producers. Today, net farm income is at record levels while debt has been cut in half since the 1980s. Overall, American agriculture supports 1 in 12 jobs in the United States and provides American consumers with 83 percent of the food we consume, while maintaining affordability and choice. The Obama Administration has aggressively worked to expand export opportunities and reduce barriers to trade, helping to push agricultural exports to record levels in 2011 and beyond. Strong agricultural exports are a positive contribution to the U.S. trade balance, support more than 1 million American jobs and boost economic growth.
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