Mathison Testifies Before Congress Part 3

Mathison Testifies Before Congress Part 3

Mathison Testifies Before Congress part 3. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.

Stemilt Growers president West Mathison recently testified before a joint congressional hearing. He called it; At Risk: American Jobs, Agriculture, Health and Species – the Costs of Federal Regulatory Dysfunction. He gave the group a bit of a fruit growing lesson.

MATHISON: The two most pervasive pests for pear and apple growers are psylla and codling moth.  Both are prolific flyers and can travel large distance spreading the next generation as they go.  To leave as little as 10% of an orchard untreated is to leave a nursery for these pests to continue their devastation of our crops.  Buffers may sound reasonable but from a horticultural perspective, but they may and could and would stimulate the need for more pesticides because of infestations of pests that harbor in these buffers.

He says the buffers just make the problem worse.

MATHISON: I am proud to grow apples, pears, and cherries -- all healthy fruits which the new Dietary Guidelines, the medical community say we should eat more to fight obesity and improve health and IQ. It is ironic that today this issue threatens to disrupt production of these very same crops. If our production declines, American consumers will simply enjoy more imported products by foreign competitors with less stringent food safety requirements.

That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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