Several years ago, CDFA detected a new pest in California – the European grapevine moth, an invasive species that targets a number of plants, notably grapes. Because California is the leading grape producer in the country and one of the largest in the world, we understood immediately that the stakes were enormous for the wine, raisin and table grape industries, and our response was decisive.
We teamed with stakeholders at the USDA (the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service- APHIS, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service-NRCS), the University of California, and in key California counties and industry to put an eradication plan in place that has been very successful, so far. Relying largely on fruit removal from residential properties and industry-driven treatment programs in commercial vineyards, the European grapevine moth population has dropped dramatically, and the USDA has determined that the effort is worthy of the APHIS Administrator’s Award, which will be presented next month.
The letter announcing the award notes the program has protected the California grape and tree fruit industry by preventing the establishment of the European grapevine moth. While that’s definitely true, and an achievement worthy of attention, we know full well that our work isn’t done. We will continue to protect the food supply and natural resources of our state from this and many other invasive species. It’s what we do. We’re pleased with these results, proud of our team, and grateful for the partnerships we share in making this recognition possible.