Sevier, Sanpete and Juab counties in south central Utah, along with nearly a dozen northern Utah counties, are restricted from shipping hay to California, although the restriction was recently lifted for Millard County.
Agriculture officials imposed the restrictions over concern about the cereal leaf beetle.Fumigation is required by the California Department of Agriculture and Food before hay can be shipped from Sevier, Sanpete, Juab, Box Elder, Cache, Davis, Morgan, Rich, Salt Lake, Summit, Tooele, Utah, Wasatch and Weber counties.
All hay shippers must be certified through the Utah Department of Agriculture, according to G. Richard Wilson, director of the state department's plant industry. He predicts lifting of the quarantine in Millard County will open up a lucrative market to more Utah hay growers.
California lifted the quarantine in Millard County following a survey by the Utah State University Extension Service that showed no presence of the cereal leaf beetle. The pest was first detected four years ago in that county.
Since that time, an active program has been undertaken to rid hay from the beetle infestations. A combination of good farming practices and environmental factors have contributed to the pest's decline in Millard County.
Millard is the state's leader in hay and alfalfa production, producing about 341,000 tons last year. Wilson said there is a high demand by California for the Utah product because of its quality and accessibility.
He noted that the Utah Department of Agriculture continues to promote research aimed at eliminating the beetle. Obtain information about control methods from the USU Extension Service.