The Pierce’s Disease & Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter (PD/GWSS) Referendum, conducted this spring, passed with 78 percent approval of California winegrape growers. All winegrape producer entities that paid the assessment on grapes crushed in 2019 received ballots and 49 percent cast ballots. Assessment funds are used for research, outreach, and related activities on PD, GWSS, and other designated pests and diseases of winegrapes.
“It is heartening to know that California’s winegrape growers continue to see value in the joint effort that we’ve built together with the assessment,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Our growers know and understand the importance of research, and – just as importantly – they recognize the value of their ongoing investment in this exemplary partnership between industry and government.”
The Board advises the CDFA on the use of winegrape assessment funds and has invested over $47 million since 2001 on research and outreach. The Board sets the annual assessment rate, with a maximum of $3.00 per $1,000 of value, at its summer meeting. The annual assessment rate has averaged $1.39 per $1,000 of value and was $1.00 for the 2019 harvest.
“In these trying times, we appreciate the support of the industry in passing this referendum,” said Domonic Rossini, PD/GWSS Board chair. “The PD/GWSS Board is always focused on growers’ best interests and ensuring our industry has the best research at its back to protect California vineyards from pests and diseases.”
The PD/GWSS Referendum is conducted every five years by law, and will take place again in 2025. Through the renewal of the assessment, growers’ continued commitment to the industry and government partnership led by the statewide Pierce’s Disease Control Program leverages funding for essential activities, including:
- Maintaining and monitoring GWSS traps
- Conducting nursery stock shipment inspections
- Overseeing nursery stock treatments
- Controlling GWSS using area-wide management programs
- Operating a biological control program to suppress GWSS populations