The BC Fruit Growers Association’s annual meeting is on in Penticton.
One of the topics under scrutiny is the increase in invasive species for both plants and insects.
President Fred Steele says fruit crops are in danger as a result.
“The threat is much more frequent now with clear wing and spotted wing drosophila and we’re really concerned about the brown marmorated stink bug as it comes closer and closer to our border.”
“We still don’t have apple maggot as such. We are the only jurisdiction in North America so we are constantly making sure to work with the CFIA to make sure that we keep it out.”
While invasive species control and the replant program are key topics, so too is a new round of talks associated with the Columbia River Treaty.
Steele says before the treaty both Washington State and BC each produced about 12-million boxes of apples. That is not the case any longer.
“They now have 130-million and we have 3 or 4 and that’s due to the fact that they have much more irrigation water available to them to develop areas that were desert before.”
The BCFGA is looking for some sort of legacy trust in the system down the road as compensation.