How Does Farm Bill Funding Benefit NW Growers?
One of the many research projects funded by the 2018 Farm Bill looks to help cherry growers detect little cherry virus. Washington Farm Bureau member April Clayton said the disease infects cherry trees through insects.
“Basically, once they bite or land on the tree, the pathogens from the bugs transfer to the trees, and then the tree becomes infected. It leaves the fruit underdeveloped and under color, so it doesn't make grade for the market. Unfortunately, the pathogen is then spread through the root system, and there's no treatment for it. So, we physically have to remove the tree and there's no way that you can replant another tree because you could possibly infect the next tree that you put in.”
Clayton noted thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill funding, research to finght LCD could take place right here in the PNW.
“Thankfully, because of the Farm Bill Washington State University received under a million dollars through the farm bill. So, this money will go to help fund research and testing, because right now the only way you can test for the virus is right at harvest time. So, with more research, we'll know more, and we can stop this.”
Clayton encourages farmers and ranchers to advocate for farm bill research programs.
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