A bill moving through the state legislature would help orchardists better monitor and eradicate apple maggots in the Yakima County area. While school children joke about worms in apples, the apple maggot is no laughing matter for the tree fruit industry in Washington. That is why there is large support for a bill sponsored by Representative Bruce Chandler of Granger.

"We always have to make sure that certain protocols are followed by the industry and by the state Department of Agriculture to ensure that there is no apple maggot presence in any of the fruit that is shipped to many of our customers. And the result is that from time to time, the cost of doing that goes up and down, depending upon what the conditions are for different parts of the state. This bill provided $150,000, which is industry assessments. It is paid by the growers.”

15th District Republican State Representative Bruce Chandler, who says House Bill 1889 would authorize a transfer of the money from the state Department of Agriculture’s inspection account to the Yakima district’s pest control board. Chandler says the funding would help the pest control board seek out and eradicate the apple maggot.

The measure gained unanimous approval last week in the House. It is now awaiting a hearing in the Senate's Ways and Means committee.