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Chandler pitches bill to help keep Valley's apples world-class quality

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Mabton Police Department staff (L-R) P.J. Haddox, Kris Johnson, Mike Britton, Cas Cedillo and Mario Castilleja pose for a photo after last night's awards ceremony.

OLYMPIA - While schoolchildren joke about worms in apples, the apple maggot, which is a fruit fly, is no laughing matter to the tree fruit industry.

A bill moving through the state legislature sponsored by Rep. Bruce Chandler of Granger would help locals in Yakima County better canvas properties and orchards for the apple maggot.

"Washington takes great pride in the quality of our produce, and we are known for our apples. Controlling the apple maggot is critical for the industry, especially for our trade partners around the world," said Chandler.

He said, "This is a simple transfer of funds paid for only by apple growers for the direct use of controlling this pest."

House Bill 1889 would authorize a transfer of $150,000 from the Washington State Department of Agriculture's inspection account, which is funded by fruit growers, to the Yakima District's pest control board.

The request for the proposal was made by the Yakima Valley Growers-Shippers Association.

"With this transfer, the local group will be able to better monitor and eradicate the presence of the apple maggot to keep our apples pest-free and keep Washington the top producer in the country," Chandler said.

The bill received a hearing and was passed out of the House appropriations subcommittee on general government last Saturday, Feb. 23.

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