USDA Funding Will Help Move Forward Sterile Insect Technology for Navel Orangeworm
Richard Matoian is executive director of the American pistachio growers. “We did get funding from the federal government for this sterile navel orangeworm facility. So we're actually ramping up the number of acres that the sterile moths are going to be tested on,” Matoian said.
“Previously they were in the Kern County. And this year area it'll be in Western Fresno County in an area that has both almonds and pistachios. The moths will be put on both. And it's apparently an area where there's been higher navel orange worm damage,” Matoian said. “So, it'll be an opportunity to see a little more clearly or a little more definitively, whether that navel orangeworm, sterile releases actually have an effect or we're going to be able to see better results,” he said
Matoian said these flyovers with a sterile navel orange worms will go into orchards without mating disruption, which will give them a clearer picture on whether or not it works.