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Posts Tagged ‘Oriental fruit fly’

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Photo: ©USDA/Scott Bauer.
A female oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis) laying eggs in the skin of a papaya.

 

Research findings should reduce trade barriers and boost pest control measures

28 October 2014, Rome/Vienna – Four of the world’s most destructive agricultural pests are actually one and the same fruit fly, according to the results of a global research effort released today. The discovery should lead to the easing of certain international trade restrictions and also aid efforts to combat the ability of these harmful insects to reproduce, experts said.

The so-called Oriental, Philippine, Invasive and Asian Papaya fruit flies, the study shows, all belong to the same biological species, Bactrocera dorsalis, which is causing incalculable damage to horticultural industries and food security across Asia, Africa, and the Pacific.

The international collaborative effort, involving close to 50 researchers from 20 countries, began in 2009 and was coordinated by FAO and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It followed an integrative approach, examining evidence across a range of disciplines.

The ability to precisely identify pests is central to pest management, including quarantine measures or bans applied to internationally traded food and agriculture products such as fruit and vegetables.

Keeping exotic fruit flies out is a major concern for many countries. The study’s findings mean that trade restrictions linked to the Oriental fruit fly should now fall away in cases where the insect is present in both the importing and exporting country, according to Jorge Hendrichs from the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture in Vienna.

“This outcome has major implications for global plant biosecurity, especially for developing countries in Africa and Asia,” said the study’s lead author, Mark Schutze, from the Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre (PBCRC) and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

“For example, the Invasive –now Oriental — fruit fly has devastated African fruit production with crop losses exceeding 80 percent and has led to widespread trade restrictions with refusal of shipments of products into Asia, Europe and Japan, and significant economic and social impacts on farming communities,” Schutze added.

Using sterilized males to mate with wild females

The findings of the study will also simplify techniques like the use of sterilized males to prevent the growth of pest populations.

A form of insect birth control, the sterile insect technique involves releasing mass-bred male flies that have been sterilized by low doses of radiation into infested areas, where they mate with wild females. These do not produce offspring and, as a result, the technique can suppress, if applied systematically on an area-wide basis, populations of wild flies in an environmentally friendly way. The FAO/IAEA Agriculture and Biotechnology Laboratories have demonstrated that the four fruit flies freely interbreed, which means that instead of using males from the four supposedly different species, mass-produced sterile Oriental fruit fly males can now be used against all the different populations of this major pest.

“Globally, accepting these four pests as a single species will lead to reduced barriers to international trade, improved pest management, facilitated transboundary international cooperation, more effective quarantine measures, the wider application of established post-harvest treatments, improved fundamental research and, most importantly, enhanced food security for some of the world’s poorest nations,” Schutze said.

The findings of the FAO/IAEA coordinated study, published in the journal Systematic Entomology means that the four, previously considered distinct fruit-fly species, will now be combined under the single name: Bactrocera dorsalis, the Oriental fruit fly.

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From: Lodi News-Sentinel

European grapevine moth quarantine lifted

Posted: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 5:57 am, Wed Feb 29, 2012.

Lodi growers are looking forward to a reprieve from some stiff state regulations to keep the European grapevine moth under control. A quarantine over San Joaquin County agriculture will lift on March 8, though officials say some controls will remain in place to monitor the pest. Quarantines were also lifted from Fresno, Merced and Mendocino counties.

“Thank God they lifted the quarantine,” said Joe Valente, vineyard and orchard manager for Kautz Farms. “We had to treat those sections different for a couple years.”

Working within the regulations added up to more work for growers.

Kautz Farms has a few acres directly affected by quarantine and a few other fields within 1,000 meters of the area. Those zones had to be treated with special pesticides. Harvesters and other equipment had to be cleaned after use at each field within the quarantined area, a 96-square-mile zone surrounding Lodi. For growers shipping freshly packed wine grapes and other produce, there was an added hurdle of paperwork. The regulations extended through the industry from growers to wineries.

About 660,000 acres will be released from quaratine.

The Lodi District Grape Growers Association complimented the coordination between the San Joaquin County Agriculture Commission, the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the USDA to keep on top of the quarantine.

Amy Blagg, executive director, recalled the challenges of new regulations in August 2010, just before that year’s harvest.

“It took a lot of cooperation to make sure everyone was working under the compliance agreements,” said Blagg.

Two pests still require quarantine regulations. Part of the confusion was in meeting the correct requirements for the Oriental fruit fly, light brown apple moth and the European grapevine moth.

The problem with the moth is the larvae will burrow inside maturing fruit and leave an open wound prone to rot. While only two moths were found in the Lodi area, it was enough to trigger the strict quarantine.

But Scott Hudson, agricultural commissioner for San Joaquin County, is confident the pest is gone.

A trapping program will continue for the 2012 growing season. Five thousand moth traps will be placed by Friday.

“It’s such a pest of concern. This is extra insurance that we are free by trapping another season,” said Hudson, adding that some kind of trapping program will continue was long as the pest is in the state.

Those traps will be paid for in part by $8 million in federal funding to continue the program, announced U.S. Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack. The funds go to continue the program in all four counties where the quarantine was lifted.

Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at sarap@lodinews.com.

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