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Fruit Bites Fruit grower report 2019

Bob Larson Farm Justice Now Pt 1
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: September 10, 2019

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I’m Bob Larson. In an effort to close the gap between what happens on the farm and what people in the cities ‘think’ happens on the farm, Save Family Farming wants everyone to know where their fresh produce is coming from.

Director Gerald Baron says it’s a growing problem …

BARON … “What people don’t understand, a lot of people in our cities, the people who are going into supermarkets and buying food, they should look at the food packages and where their food is coming from because the imported food has risen greatly from 12 percent of our food supply in the 1990’s to over 20 percent now.”

Baron says those imports bring with them their own set of problems …

BARON … “Along with that rise in imported food we have, imported food is 5 times more likely to have pesticide residues above the FDA-allowed limit, that’s from the FDA. And the CDC reports that imported food has caused a matching rise in food-related illnesses. So, there’s a direct correlation between the increase in food illnesses and the amount of imported food coming in.”

Baron says there’s nothing wrong with a little competition, as long as the competition is playing by the same rules …

BARON … “And a big part of the reason of why we’re importing so much more food now is because of our very high labor costs caused by the regulations and the shortage of workers and by the pressures put on by the union activists.”

Listen tomorrow when Baron tells us more about why the availability of farm labor is the tipping point for local grower’s ability to compete.

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BL: Welcome back to another “Fruit Bites” brought to you by Valent U.S.A. With us again is Valent’s Allison Walston. And this week Allison, tell me what happens to insects over the winter?

AW: As fall temperatures approach, insects begin preparations for overwintering. Aphids overwinter as a tough coated egg. Insects, like codling moth overwinter as a diapausing larva, while cherry fruit fly, overwinter as a pupa in the soil.

BL: I guess they don’t all die?

AW: Some might die, but most reach the necessary stage to deal with plummeting temperatures. For example, codling moth overwinter as a diapausing larva, similar to hibernating bear stage they delay development and spin a cocoon in a nice sheltered crevice in the bark to survive.

BL: Do all insects have an overwintering stage?

AW: No, some insects like monarchs, skip winter and move to warmer locations then fly up here. Entomologists are still trying to determine if some insects, like spotted wing Drosophila, can overwinter in the PNW.

BL: Well, thanks Allison. Join us again next time for Fruit Bites, brought to you by Valent. Until then, I’m Bob Larson.

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