Each year a series of training workshops are held to inform the industry about changes to apple export work plans in general, as well as to train field and packinghouse technicians how to sample for quarantine pests. This year the general industry work plan update sessions will be held in Yakima on July 31 and in Wenatchee on August 1, and field and packinghouse technician training occurs throughout August. Check the events calendar for details.
The next set of workshops are intended for the certifying packinghouse technicians who perform cull cutting duties to satisfy the work plan requirements for exporting apples to Taiwan and/or China. In addition to cull cutter certification, field technicians are trained to sample for codling moth to determine the eligibility of an orchard for export. Certification training is good for two years.
Although certified cull cutters can perform a similar task by sampling field bins at the packinghouse, having a field technician perform on-tree sampling can save valuable time. A considerable amount of certified technician time can be spent If qualifying an orchard is achieved by sampling the requisite 300 field bins per orchard/lot/variety each time a subset of that lot is removed from storage. However, if a field technician performs on-tree sampling of an orchard (per lot/variety), once the lot is sampled and shows the orchard to be low risk for codling moth, no further bin sampling is needed.
Certification training includes biology and identification of the target pest (codling moth), an overview of the work plans (Taiwan & China), sampling techniques, forms, and useful resources.
This will be the last year that WSU performs the training sessions before turning the reigns over to WSDA entomologists. Additional information about the training can be found here: http://tfrec.cahnrs.wsu.edu/postharvest-export/training/.