California announces $22M to fight 'unprecedented fruit fly infestations'

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California announces $22M to fight 'unprecedented fruit fly infestations'

The Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, announced last week that $22.1 million of the state's budget will be allocated to fight fruit flies, the Redlands Daily Facts reports.

State legislators had recently sent a letter to Newsom requesting $49 million to directly help citrus growers affected by fruit fly quarantines imposed in different parts of the state. The lawmakers have requested $45 million in emergency funding for citrus growers in the quarantine areas who cannot move crops off their properties.

Casey Creamer, the president of California Citrus, said in a release that this decision is very important and essential in addressing the “unprecedented fruit fly infestations that threaten our communities, homeowners, and agricultural livelihoods.”

The state has been struggling with an unusual amount of invasive fruit flies this season, including the Oriental, Mediterranean, Tau, and Queensland fruit flies. 

Over 554 square miles have been quarantined in San Bernardino and Riverside counties alone due to the impact of invasive fruit flies. These quarantines significantly impact the citrus growers within their boundaries and leave them with few to no options for marketing their fruit.

In September, the state enacted a quarantine in Redlands and neighboring communities to try to control the spread of the Oriental fruit fly.

Related article:

What California citrus growers may need to recover from a record year for fruit fly 

USDA in full fight mode against invasive fruit flies

Mexican Fruit Fly quarantines spread in Texas citrus zones

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