- Author: Mary Lou Nicoletti, Santa Cruz County Agricultural Commissioner
The Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) is present in urban and natural areas of the county, and can easily migrate into agricultural fields. British Columbia, Canada has zero tolerance for LBAM in shipments of plants and harvested crops. Growers whose fruit will be shipped to British Columbia, Canada must sign a Compliance Agreement with the Agricultural Commissioner. One of the critical elements of that Compliance Agreement is visual field scouting for the LBAM.
Visual Field Scouting Requirements:
- Must begin at least 30 days prior to harvesting fruit for export to British Columbia, Canada.
- Must be performed weekly during the harvest season.
- Written records of the scouting must be kept by the grower.
- The scouting must be done by a licensed Pest Control Advisor (PCA) OR an “approved scout”.
- A licensed PCA is an approved scout.
- Growers provide the Agricultural Commissioner with the name of their PCA, who will do the weekly scouting.
- The PCA may be unable to perform the required weekly scouting for the grower, due to weather, a recent pesticide application, or simply because he or she is too busy.
- It may be helpful for growers to assign alternate qualified “approved scouts” to ensure the scouting is performed and recorded on a weekly basis.
- Mark Bolda, UCCE Caneberry and Strawberry Advisor, can provide training and an “Approved Scout” certificate to those who attend the training. Mark is holding trainings in May.
- Approved Scout trainings are scheduled to be given at the UCCE Auditorium, 1432 Freedom Boulevard in Watsonville
o May 28 will be in English – 3PM to 4 PM
o May 29 will be in Spanish – 3 PM to 4 PM
- Canada is our county's largest trading partner.
- Serious consequences will result if LBAM is intercepted by Canadian officials on a shipment.
- The grower's records will be examined; if the grower has not complied with the terms of the Compliance Agreement, fines can be levied on the grower.
- The entire industry will be affected. Canada could refuse to accept harvested fruit from the County of Santa Cruz or the State of California. This would cause a drop in price received for all growers due to the extra supply of berries in the market.
UCCE Farm Advisor Mark Bolda will be providing a training on light brown apple moth (LBAM) that qualifies attendees to be an “approved scout” relating to the Compliance Agreement for shipment of berries to Canada. On completion of the brief training, attendees will receive a Certificate as a record of their participation.
This training will be held once in English and once in Spanish.
Where: UCCE Auditorium, 1432 Freedom Boulevard, Watsonville, CA
When: March 4 – 8:00-9:00 AM in English
March 5 – 8:00-9:00 AM in Spanish
No pre-registration necessary. All are welcome to attend, even if they do not intend to ship berries to Canada.
No continuing education hours will be offered at this meeting.
Please call Mark at (831) 763 8025 if you have any questions.
Growers and agricultural professionals in the berry business are to be reminded that the USDA light brown apple moth (LBAM) regulatory program is still going strong. Additionally, LBAM is very much a presence here - I get calls about them, and have found some myself. Do not let one of these be cause for a business busting field closure!
Mating disruption twist ties absolutely should be in place now in caneberries (see below) and probably a very good idea in organic strawberries as well. Remember that the free distribution program is now over and the ties are obtainable from private vendors. Any leafrolls should be removed, and presence of a suspect LBAM larvae cause for making a decision about making an application to reduce their numbers.
The mating disruption twist ties are now being sold through private vendors since the USDA supply has now officially run out. Prospective customers can contact the vendors below:
Wilbur-Ellis- Salinas (831-422-6473)
Crop Protection Services- Watsonville office (831-763-4533)
Troy Miller- Simplot (831-809-9211)
Again the rate of use of these ties from Pacific Biocontrol should be 300 per acre and it is understood that they should be effective for six months.
Yes, light brown apple moth (LBAM) are being found in both conventional and organic berry fields right now, so please growers and field people be taking care to keep them out. A field closure is not pleasant for anybody involved, so do all you can to keep this pest out - pheromone based twist ties, sprays and yes even physical removal of rolls.
I've included the current USDA - CDFA protocol provided to me by Laura Irons, Senior Environmental Scientist with the CDFA, for approved sprays. Note the length of time between the regulated spray of most of the materials and the time that inspectors come back - it's from 10 to even 20 days, which is a heck of a long time to be out of the market. PLEASE do all you can to keep LBAM out of your fields.
I've also added the link to the USDA/CDFA LBAM inspection protocol at coolers, processors and packing facilities. It hasn't changed from the past seasons, but it's worth a review as our production year heats up.