Because of when the moths were discovered and the quarantine imposed, stone fruit growers experienced the bulk of the early market disruptions, said Barry Bedwell, president of the California Grape and Tree Fruit League.
By the time the table grape harvest began, most of the snags had been worked out of the quarantine protocol and the system appeared to work fairly efficiently, he said.
As part of the grapevine moth quarantine, table grape growers had to follow an a
pproved integrated pest management program that timed pesticide applications with peak moth flights, Hafner said.
Vineyards also had to have one trap for every 5 acres, and the trapping had to be done by the county agricultural commissioner’s office.
Before harvest, growers had to call to schedule inspections. County inspectors checked each vineyard to make sure it was clear of moths as well as inspected 300 grape bunches for any signs of the pest.
Grapes from quarantined vineyards had to be kept separate, and boxes had to carry a “diamond 10” stamp identifying them as originating from a quarantine zone.
The only remnant of the infestation now is the intensive trapping program, for which the growers in the area pay.
Before the infestation, the county deployed 16 traps per square mile. Since the eradication, the rate is 25 traps per square mile, Hafner said.