Get to Know Norman

Have you met Norman? Norman is a European Grapevine Moth (EGVM). While we hope that EGVM is not in your area, you may be meeting Norman very soon. At the very least, we want you to know about him.

Norman is an invasive pest with a cynical attitude, a conniving demeanor, and he is out to wreak havoc on California’s grape crops. But he can be stopped, and we want to make sure everyone knows how.

USDA’s European Grapevine Moth Campaign is working to spread the word about this pest. If you listen to the radio in the Napa Valley or read any newspapers or magazines in Sonoma, Napa, Solano or Santa Clara counties, you have probably encounterd Norman recently.You may have seen even seen the print ad on the left which depicts Norman longingly reaching towards a cluster of  grapes that is just beyond his grasp. Awareness and proaction are crucial in stopping the spread of this pest, which is why we hope you’ll get to know Norman.

Thanks to diligent growers and grapevine enthusiasts, EGVM has been erradicated in several counties throughout California however, quarantines remain in other portions of Napa, Sonoma and Solano counties. Nevada, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties are also partially quarantined.

We need your help to continue to keep California grapes away from this destructive pest. That means doing things like disposing of vine clippings properly and taking care when traveling through wine country not to inadvertently transport this freeloader. Homeowners or gardeners in quarantined areas are asked to removed the flowers and fruit from grapevines as preemtive measure to ward off EGVM. Vines should be inspected regularly and any signs of EGVM should be reported to your county ag commissioner immediately.

Spanish-speaking Californians will soon meet Norman, aka, Norberto, through a series of Spanish cable television advertisements and radio adverstisements targeted in Napa, Sonoma and Solano counties. Lunch trucks traveling through Napa, Sonoma and Solano counties will also be featuring Norberto.  Be on the look out for Norberto during July and August.

Additionally, both the English website: www.hungrypests.com/egvm, as well as the Spanish language website, http://www.hungrypests.com/egvm/espanol/ have been updated with Norman/Noberto.

Because of all of this publicity, Norman thinks he is famous. But we hope this is just his “Fifteen Minutes of Fame,” and that his presence in California is short-Iived.

Now that you know Norman, learn how to stop him. Keeping Norman out is crucial to protecting California’s grape and wine industry. Learn how you can help: http://www.hungrypests.com/egvm/learn-more/you-can-help/

Progress being made on two fronts in the fight against the European Grapevine Moth

Grape growers in California are getting some much needed good news about the fight against the European Grapevine Moth (EGVM). Last month the USDA announced $8 million in additional emergency funding to control the European Grapevine Moth.

The $8 million emergency funding allows USDA APHIS, the CDFA, the affected industry, county officials and the UC Cooperative Extension to collaborate on a variety of eradication tools. These tools include, among other items, outreach, surveys, quarantine enforcement and grower-led treatments.

Barry Bedwell, President of the California Grape and Tree Fruit League commented on the new funding, “Everyone is working in difficult and challenging times and funding is often hard to come by. The $8 million will make a positive difference in expanding the eradication efforts already underway. The success of the multi-pronged eradication program is a great example of joint cooperative effort of government and industry going the distance to ensure the health of California’s grapes.”

Additional good news came when state and federal agricultural officials announced that the EGVM quarantine in Fresno, Mendocino, Merced and San Joaquin counties will be lifted on March 8. Approximately 661,110 acres are being released by the quarantine.

The areas that remain under EGVM quarantine have also been reduced by a change in the regulation that originally required the inclusion of a five mile “buffer” around any site where the voracious pest had been detected. The existing quarantine area is being reduced by approximately 55 percent.

The quarantine continues in the original infested area encompassing portions of Napa, Sonoma and Solano County. Isolated infestations have also triggered smaller quarantines in Nevada, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. The emergency funding will provide opportunities to expand the successful efforts seen in the Central Valley to the North Coast and Napa regions.

“The lifting of the quarantine in four counties is fantastic news for grape growers” said Ryan Jacobsen, Executive Director of the Fresno County Farm Bureau. “Grapes are Fresno County’s number one crop, and lifting the quarantine allows growers to resume unfettered trading with our partners. The efforts leading to the lifting of the quarantine are a terrific example of federal, state and local cooperation to eradicate a terrible invasive pest. This will have a very positive impact on the grape growing economy in the affected areas.”

You can learn more about EGVM and find out what you can do to help eradicate this invasive pest once and for all by visiting http://www.hungrypests.com/egvm/

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