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Ministry issues warning of apple pests

The Ministry of Agriculture is asking Fraser Valley residents to help protect the B.C. apple industry from apple pests which minimizes the use of pesticides.

Apple maggot (Rhagoletis pomonella), a serious apple pest, is established in the Fraser Valley, Greater Vancouver and Vancouver Island.

The Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys of B.C. remain the only commercial apple-producing regions in North America free of this serious pest, said the Ministry of Agriculture.

The ministry is asking that people not take any fruit (apples, crabapples, hawthorn, pears, plums) or any fruit bins or other containers used to hold apples out of the Lower Mainland.

Do not take plants with garden soil that were grown near fruit trees.

If you receive fruit from the Lower Mainland that appears to be infested, contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) or a Ministry of Agriculture office.

Quick facts

•Apples are the most valuable edible tree fruit crop in B.C.

•About 58 per cent of all B.C. orchard land is planted in apples.

• About 91 per cent of B.C. apples are produced in the Thompson-Okanagan region, 48 per cent of which is in the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys.

More than three-quarters of the B.C. apple crop is sold fresh. The rest of the crop is processed. Apple juice is the most popular form of processed apples.

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