Last week, Dan Newhouse, Chair of the Congressional Western Caucus, and G.T Thompson, House Ag Committee Republican Leader, wrote a letter to USDA concerning the spread of Little Cherry Disease and its impact on the sweet cherry industry across the U.S. The letter addressed to USDA Administrator Kevin Shea said, in part, “Over the last three years, the virus has reemerged and reached epidemic levels in Washington state. It is also spreading in Oregon, and cases have been reported in California and Utah…resulting in small and bland fruit that is unmarketable.”
The two representatives added they would like to see APHIS work with the cherry industry and allocate additional resources to the eventual eradication of Little Cherry Disease.
“Little Cherry Disease (LCD) is having a serious impact on the Pacific Northwest cherry industry and continues to spread at an alarming rate. We appreciate the leadership of Representative Newhouse and Ranking Member Thompson in raising the need to dedicate funds to critical research and testing needs with APHIS. Without swift action, LCD will continue to attack more and more orchards,” said Mark Powers, President, Northwest Horticultural Council.
“Cherry growers in the Pacific Northwest face a serious threat as Little Cherry Disease (LCD) continues to spread rapidly. Prompt action is needed to ensure we can effectively combat this disease. Representative Newhouse and Ranking Member Thompson encouraging USDA to dedicate funds for the LCD research and testing we need is greatly appreciated,” said Sean Gilbert, President, Gilbert Orchards.
Click Here to read the entire letter.
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