Successful H-2A Program & WSDA Trapping Nets Destructive Forest Pest
I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
Washington's apple harvest has been winding down and it has been another record crop. Washington Farm Labor Association's Dan Fazio says that most growers reported that they had enough labor to get the crop in.
FAZIO: Thanks to the forward thinking growers in our state who've embraced that legal worker program that we call the H-2A. We just got the statistics back from the state of Washington and there were just over 9,000 foreign workers here with visas - legally and all that - helping to pick the crop. That's a 45% increase from 2013. If you go back to 2007, we have an average 20% increase every year for the use of this program - from fewer than 2,000 people to over 9,000 people presently. And people said that the H-2A program couldn't be done, but the Washington growers - they found a way, and they've got it done.
Fazio says that their has been good cooperation between the state and growers with the H-2A program, which obviously has benefitted both the growers and the workers.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture has reported that trappers caught 27 European gypsy moths in five counties this summer - far more than the single catch last year, but equaling the number detected in 2012. WSDA is now conducting inspections at the catch sites, looking for additional evidence of gypsy moth activity. State entomologists will review the results and consult with the USDA and entomologists from other states before making a decision on how to best respond. That determination will likely be made by the end of the year.
That's Washington Ag Today.
I'm Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.