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Pest Exclusion Issues

Farmers in San Diego County are constantly at risk from infestations of exotic pests and diseases. As an urban county with an international border, the traveling public and criminal smuggling of agricultural products create opportunities for the transport of pests. Recent years have seen a number of local quarantines, and future quarantines can be expected. In addition to restrictions on shipping in the event of a quarantine, many of the pests and diseases that farmers battle on a daily basis are non-native introductions carried by human activity. The risk of these new pests and diseases underscore the need for vigilant and constant exclusion efforts along our borders, at the airport, and in incoming shipments of goods. Farm Bureau has made it a key task to convince state and federal legislators that pest exclusion, detection, and eradication must be high priorities.

To keep serial quarantines and new introductions from becoming a way of life and causing immeasurable damage to farmers, Farm Bureau advocates two essential philosophies.

  1. There must be a mindset at our state and international border crossings that agricultural products being carried into our state, both innocently and criminally, should share equal billing with searches for drugs, weapons, and contraband.
  2. Detection efforts in our agricultural regions must be increased. Because our county is a likely point of invasion, traps must be set in sufficient numbers to detect the presence of pests before breeding populations can become established.

Growers can help themselves by establishing a few simple bio-security measures:

  • Know the source of all agricultural products that come onto your farm
  • Be aware of where visitors and equipment have been before they come onto your farm or ranch
  • Educate employees on the potential impacts if they inadvertently are the carriers of animal diseases or if their lunch sacks contain fruit from a source that could harbor exotic pests
  • Demand that shippers of plants or animals to your farm strictly adhere to phytosanitary regulations