Friday, March 16, 2007

Don't bring apples - and the apple maggot - home with you.

If we who who live in the Interior and visit the Lower Mainland and points south, are very careful, we can play a part in delaying the arrival of the apple maggot in the Okanagan. The simple request of vulnerable apple farmers in the Okanagan valley and other interior BC apple-growing areas is: Don't bring back any apples. This delay will, at least, give growers a little time to prepare. The little beast is already established in the Lower Mainland amongst the apples and crab apples. According to a Ministry of Agriculture entomologist, quoted in an article in the Vancouver Sun,

The southern Interior of B.C. is the only apple-growing region in North America that is currently free of apple maggots . . . It made its way [across North America] from the eastern U.S., where it originated. Once the insect establishes itself in the Okanagan, countries that import Okanagan fruit could impose trade restrictions.

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