Agriculture briefs

Officials: Quarantine zone for grapevine moth shrinks

State and federal agriculture officials announced Friday they have greatly reduced the quarantine area for European grapevine moth in the North Bay.

Approximately 240 square miles of land have been removed from quarantine. That leaves 446 square miles in the quarantine area, nearly all of it in Napa County. All of Solano County has been lifted from the quarantine, and for Sonoma County, only a small section west of Calistoga remains in the restricted area.

The pest primarily damages grapes, but has also been known to feed on other crops and plants. It was first found in Napa County in 2009.

CDFA Secretary Karen Ross called the decision good news.

“We must now continue our efforts and ultimately rid California of the European grapevine moth,” Ross said in a statement.

Grapes are the top agricultural plant commodity grown in California with a production value of $6.9 billion in 2012.

Workshop on animal welfare program scheduled on Sept. 8

Ranchers can learn about the benefits of certification by the Animal Welfare Approved program at a free workshop Sept. 8 in Santa Rosa sponsored by the UC Cooperative Extension.

Speakers will include the program’s Beth Spitler and Stephanie Larson, the cooperative extension’s livestock and range management advisor.

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