Napa Vineyards Mandate Pressure Wash

March 14, 2011 by  
Filed under California Pressure Washing Blog

Non-native pests are invading the valley, according to local grapegrowers who gathered to discuss their shared challenges this week.

Because land is dominated by vineyards, it makes it easier for pests to spread quickly from American Canyon to the Upvalley, growers said. And the two newest pests, the light-brown apple moth and European grapevine moth, seem to feel right at home in Napa County.

Growers, however, are not going to pull out vines and plant vegetables — a sure-fire way to chase out a grape-eating pest — because “the best use of the land is vineyards,” said Hal Huffsmith, Trinchero Family Estate’s vice president of vineyard operations.

Huffsmith was among the 125 people participants at a sustainability workshop put on by the Napa Valley Grapegrowers at Yountville Community Center Wednesday.

Huffsmith said both moths, which have been trapped as far north as St. Helena, are moving toward Calistoga. “So what can we do?” Huffsmith asked.

He said the industry needs to continue working with researchers, tap farmer wisdom — using trial and error with plantings, inspections, releasing natural enemies of the pests and more to see what works — and for growers to collaborate with their neighbors.

Huffsmith said one potential answer being discussed is a rootstock genetically modified to resist the pests. “But would you use (it)? That is a consumer-driven issue. But it is a possible solution.”

While growers fear the European grapevine moth could have devastating impacts on the winegrape industry, growers have learned to live with other pests who move more slowly or have less harmful effects on the fruit or life of the vines. Growers fear that the European moth will prove a more formidable foe.

“If we get one shot at defeating this (European grapevine moth), it is this spring,” Napa County Agricultural Commissioner Dave Whitmer said.

“This is the real deal. We need to take it seriously,” Whitmer said. “There is no single solution.”

“Right now,” he added, “We don’t know where it is and where it isn’t.”

The quarantine boundaries will expand if more moths are found. The strategy is to control the first and second generations of the European grapevine moth in a known quarantine area.

Whitmer said it appears the pest can be dealt with if its mating is disrupted. Whitmer said the federal and state Environmental Protection Agencies both approved the use of a mating disrupter. It should be available to growers by mid-April.

Growers will also be required to implement sanitation practices that will require pressure-washing everything from grape bins and vine trimmers to all machinery used in a quarantined vineyard . . .


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2 Comments on "Napa Vineyards Mandate Pressure Wash"

  1. RobertW on Mon, 15th Mar 2010 11:15 pm 


    The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) was caught lying about the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) to dramatically increase the CDFA budget and to distribute billions of taxpayer dollars, NOT TO FARMERS, but to large corporate privileged insider chemical companies for unnecessary pesticide contracts.

    This is what the National Academy of Science (NAS) said about the information that CDFA based their false danger and economic damage conclusions regarding LBAM: “not based on sound, rigorous science” and “all economic analyses based on it, are questionable and in need of reassessment with a more rigorous approach.”

    CDFA has made dozens of false reports about damage from LBAM that never occurred or were not caused by LBAM.

    Recently the CDFA finally admitted in the LBAM eradication program Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that LBAM has done “NO CROP DAMAGE” in California. Download the Draft Program EIR and see Chapter #3, page 3-20 lines 6,7 and 3-21 lines 3,4 below table 3-16: “No crop damage” from LBAM in California.

    CDFA admitted the “No Crop Damage” in the EIR because a judge will likely review it during legal challenges, but CDFA continues to deliver false reports of damage to the media to this day since judges don’t make judgments on media articles.

    People rely on CDFA for agriculture expertise, so decent people have been repeating and innocently spreading the false stories of LBAM damage for over two years now.

    If anyone tells you there has been LBAM damage, together with that person, call the Agriculture Commissioner Office in the county where the story of damage is claimed and you will find that there is No Documentation of damage, none.

    It is way passed the appropriate time for A.G. Kawamura to resign as Secretary of the CDFA so that public trust and confidence can be restored in this agency.

    We cannot afford to have Kawamura continually crying wolf to take our money, our taxpayer money for fabricated emergencies and then be left without sufficient funds when real emergencies occur.

    We cannot afford to have thousands of citizens not trusting the CDFA because of Kawamura’s lies when a real pest threat, such as possibly the European Grapevine Moth, comes along.

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