Apple Maggot Programs
In partnership with the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture (NSDA), NSFGA offers an Apple Maggot Inspection Program and an Apple Maggot Eradication Program.
Apple Maggot Inspection Program:
Each year orchard blocks designated for export are inspected for apple maggot infestations. Apple Maggot inspectors must first be approved by the Minister of Agriculture, hired through NSFGA, and funded by the (NSDA) in accordance with the Prevention and Control of Apple Maggot Regulations. This inspection process has been carried out by NSFGA since 2004.
A list of designated orchards identified by packers as export blocks is provided to NSDA who passes it on to NSFGA to administer the inspections. The list is broken up into 5 regional zones. Inspectors are provided with training prior to inspection. The inspectors usually work in groups depending on the size of the block and are supervised by a senior inspector. The level of infestation for each block is recorded as either NIL (no apple maggot found), trace (not more than one sting per acre of orchard), moderate (more than one sting per acre, or five in one corner), or heavy (one sting or more per tree).
Overall, the number of blocks found with apple maggot in 2016 was low when compared to previous years. For 2016, there were 431 blocks inspected at 75 different locations. Apple maggot was detected in 14.8% (64 of 431) of the blocks. The number of blocks detected is lower than the 10 year historical average of 17.8%.
Of the 64 orchard blocks that detected apple maggot, 43 blocks (67%) showed trace amounts, 20 blocks (31%) showed moderate infestation and 1 block (<2%) showed heavy infestation.
Apple Maggot Eradication Program:
In addition to the Apple Maggot Inspection program, NSFGA coordinates the Apple Maggot Eradication Program in partnership with NSDA. This partnership has been in place since 2004. The purpose of the program is to control and eradicate wild apple and hawthorn trees within a control zone (300m) of commercial orchards. The cost of the program is covered by Canada Summer Jobs funding, NSDA, and NSFGA. A total of 804 trees (338 apple, 466 American Hawthorn) were identified and treated in 2016. Sites of wild apple and hawthorn trees are reported to NSFGA by apple growers.