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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Parlier, California » San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center » Commodity Protection and Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #280689

Title: The Japan disaster and U.S. hay exports

item Yokoyama, Victoria

Submitted to: American Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/21/2012
Publication Date: 9/1/2012
Citation: Yokoyama, V.Y. 2012. The Japan disaster and U.S. hay exports. American Entomologist. 58:151-153.

Interpretive Summary: Japan imports about 1.72 million tons of hay annually from the western states. The triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami, and damage to the nuclear power plants in the Tohoku region in 2011 resulted in an increased demand for U.S. hay imports to fill feed shortages. Hessian fly in certain U.S. grown forage crops is a pest of concern to Japanese regulatory agencies. Research was conducted to ensure that hay harvesting practices and field bale compression to produce export bales mitigated the risk of any accidental introductions of Hessian fly through U.S. hay exports. The work promotes the theme of recovery and creative reconstruction between trade partners through investigation of sustainable and environmentally friendly methods of quarantine pest control.

Technical Abstract: Quarantine control of Hessian fly, Mayetiola destructor (Say), by agricultural systems used to produce export quality hay for the Japan market was studied in the laboratory and field. Survival of Hessian fly puparia was evaluated under simulated seasonal weather conditions in incubators, regional open air drying, and in windrows of harvested hay in the Kittitas Valley and Columbia Basin of Washington, and the Central and Imperial Valleys of California. Exposure to field drying for three to six days caused insect mortality that ranged from very high to 100%. Mortality of 99.9% was attained, when extraordinarily high numbers of puparia were exposed to bale compression at 93 kg per sq cm in modern compressors that produce export size bales. Testing high numbers of insects confirms treatment efficacy, but Hessian fly is unlikely to occur in export quality hay fields. The combined effect of field drying and bale compression provides a negligible risk of Hessian fly in exported hay. A systems approach to mitigate the risk of accidental introductions of Hessian fly through shipments of U.S. hay will help alleviate the use of chemical fumigants on exported animal feed to achieve quarantine pest control.