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Strawberries and Caneberries
University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Agriculture and Natural Resources Blogs
WED, FEB 1 2023
by Mark Bolda
on February 18, 2010 at 8:10 AM
A few questions have come up and we have both discussed them and have the following to say:  
1- What happens to the twist ties when it rains, ie are they rainfast? They are fine in the rain, the ties used in the study in the autumn of 2009 continued to do well through a fairly wet winter.  
2- Won't fields with twist ties attract more male moths and create even more problems? While it may be true that more males are drawn in, data shows that most of them do not successfully mate, so there should still be fewere mated females, translating into fewer egg masses and subsequently less larvae than in untreated areas. There should be some concern about the field edges however, since it is there that mated females could fly in and deposit egg masses.  
3- How long do male adult LBAM live? Male LBAM live two to three weeks at best.
by RobertW
on February 22, 2010 at 11:36 AM
New Zealand Farmers face a zero tolerance for LBAM in order to export their crops into the United States. Yet, New Zealand farmers are beating California Farmers to markets in California.  
Natural predation of LBAM, parasites on LBAM eggs and routine IPM keep LBAM to no or negligible crop damage and New Zealand is exporting efficiently into California and the U.S.  
The CDFA and USDA had ancient and inaccurate classifications and information on the Light Brown Apple Moth and so they overreacted when it was noticed in California.  
LBAM is only showing up as one of 50 to one of 200 tortricidae moths when fields are monitored accurately. However, CDFA is interfering with or shutting down normal farm operations on a single "Suspected" find of LBAM.  
Even DNA testing cannot yet conclusively differentiate LBAM larvae from other tortricidae moths that are far more abundant, nearly identical to LBAM in field behavior and have no inspection or quarantine requirements or operations interference by CDFA.  
CDFA's own Draft Environmental Impact Report states very clearly states (Chapter #3, page 3-20, lines 6,7) that NO CROP DAMAGE has occurred from LBAM in California. This contradicts all the previous reports of LBAM damage. With other nearly identical tortricidae moths outnumbering LBAM up to 200 to 1, yet all the publicity focusing on LBAM, it is easy now to understand why LBAM got blamed for any crop imperfection over the last two years under the CDFA inappropriate hysteria over this moth.  
If you have gotten caught up in the hysteria over LBAM, which is easy to do, please further check with any county agriculture commissioner. You will find that there is no documentation of any kind related to LBAM damage, even in the counties that have the greatest LBAM populations.  
Beyond this article, check further IPM methods used in New Zealand and published by University of California's peer reviewed Ag Publication. Also check the report by Dan Harder, former UCSC Arboretum Director on Control of LBAM.  
But the real solution is getting it right and changing the classification of LBAM, removing the unnecessary quarantines and inspections and stopping the costly and inappropriate LBAM Eradication Program.  
By the way:  
LBAM was not first discovered in California in 2007. Dozens of LBAM have been identified at ports of entry over many decades in California. It is a fantasy to believe that all LBAM were caught and killed at the ports and none got into California proper. It is certainly more reasonable and consistent with current LBAM populations in California to recognize that LBAM established itself in California before or during these decades when it has been noticed at ports of entry.  
The recent find in Berkeley was in July 2006, not 2007. Jerry Powell, a retired UC Berkeley Entomologist and micro-moth specialist found one and then another on a separate occasion in his back yard. Jerry lived in the Southern Hemisphere where LBAM is abundant so he may have been the only person/entomologist in the state to think to differentiate LBAM from other nearly identical tortricidae micro-moths. A DNA test was required on the moth (not the larvae) to confirm its identity. That Jerry found two moths on two separate occasions is further indication that there had been considerable time that LBAM had been living in California for two separate finds, both in his back yard. Had Jerry not noticed LBAM, we probably wouldn't know to this day that LBAM is in California.
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