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countries such as New Zealand. Such activities help to bring revenue

into the program and allow it to continue without any increase in fees to growers or other taxpayers, explains Tesche. Board chairman Duane Ophus, in calling for a vote on the 2016 financial plan for the program, emphasized that this is the sixth year there has been no increase in its cost for growers, in part because it is generating revenue from outside to cover increased expenses. Reduced acreage has meant a 15 per cent drop in revenue for the program from levies, he said.

Another goal of the strategic plan approved by the board last year is capital replacement. The gamma cell used to irradiate moths so they mate ineffectually with wild moths, has been replaced using reserve funds set aside for that. It actually cost $400,000 less than was budgeted.

The other goals identified in the strategic plan were technical support and succession planning and staffing. The board also agreed to cooperate with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the agriculture ministry and the BCFGA to expand the apple maggot detection program through cost recovery by putting out traps and monitoring them while staff monitor for codling moth.

As well it voted in favour of cooperating with the BCFGA and Summerland Research and Development Centre to trap for apple clearwing moth and put out mating disruption lures, on a cost recovery basis.

Program staff helped with the monitoring work in 2012 and 2014. Tesche spoke to growers at their convention, encouraging them to voice their desires for the future of the program. In response, one grower commented, “It’s much easier for us to sell our fruit at a premium price without pests.”

Tesche agreed, saying, “Many consumers want local fruit that’s grown in the most sustainable way possible. I can’t market your fruit, but I can help you keep the pests down and you can use that to market your fruit.

“It’s not if, but when other pests will arrive,” she added. “ Apple maggot is coming, and we need to be ready. Clearwing is here and next it could be brown marmorated stink bug. We need to figure out how to protect ourselves. Partnerships are key, but we need to leverage funding.”

British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Spring 2016 23

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