- 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.