6/15/2011 Ag Report

NEVADA COUNTY, Calif.

Mandatory spraying is being waged against a potentially devastating pest threatening Nevada County grape growers. The threat so great that a 140-square-mile quarantine zone is set up for all Nevada County grapes.

"Well, in the worst case scenario, it's a huge threat, I mean, it'll kill the grapevines, wipe out the industry, basically," said Phil Starr with Silver Starr Vineyards.

At issue is a pest called the European Grapevine Moth -- a moth that now has state and local officials going door to door in an effort to find and identify anyone who has backyard grape vines.

Ag officials telling grape growers that they have a choice -- either spray this moth with a specialized organic pesticide to kill it, or cut out their vines and lose their entire crop.

Traps are also being set up in an effort to attract and kill the pests. Growers are confident that early detection and action will save Nevada County's million-dollar plus grape growing industry.

"We are not going into panic mode or anything else because we understand that this is a very effective product. We still have to take it very seriously," said Nevada County Agricultural Commissioner Jeff Pylman.

People who have grape vines in their yards are also affected. Ag officials are telling them to harvest and eat the fruit on-site to avoid spreading the pest. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Congressman Dennis Cardoza is being recognized for his work with agriculture.

The Merced democrat was presented with the champion of agriculture award by the American Agri-Women organization.

The Merced Sun Star reports Cardoza was recognized for his leadership on the house committee on agriculture. The American Agri-Women group says Cardoza has taken on the E.P.A. for policies that prevent farmers from being able to grow safe, affordable food.

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