The Stone Fruit Commodity Survey is a cooperative effort by Clemson-DPI and USDA-APHIS-PPQ to protect South Carolina’s agricultural economy and preserve a safe and healthy environment. DPI field staff place pheromone traps in 24 locations throughout the state for summer fruit tortrix moth (Adoxophyes orana), light brown apple moth (Epiphyas postvittana), European grapevine moth (Lobesia botrana), and false codling moth (Thaumatotibia leucotreta), all of which are invasive exotic moths that threaten US fruit crops. Orchards will also be visually surveyed for European stone fruit yellows (Candidatus Phytoplasma prunorum), plum pox virus (Potyvirusplum pox virus), and Asian brown rot fungus (Monilia polystroma) with a sampling program.
Peaches are an extremely important crop in South Carolina. The SC Peach Council estimates that there are over 14,000 acres of peaches with an average annual harvest of over 120 million pounds with cash receipts of $50 million. South Carolina ranks number 2 nationally in fresh peach production and interstate shipments. Survey is essential in the fight to counter the destruction and damage caused by invasive plant pests. Found early, it is more likely that a new pest can be eliminated or controlled, and damage can be negated or minimized. Survey staff could discover pests that negatively affect the state’s or nation’s environment, economy and security. This survey will provide data on the presence or absence of pests, which is of great value to the industry for export purposes. With South Carolina's efforts to export fruit to Mexico, this survey becomes even more critical in providing data on pests that are present or absent in SC orchards.