Home Industry News Releases OWA Secures Funding to Contain and Eradicate Vine Mealybug in Oregon

OWA Secures Funding to Contain and Eradicate Vine Mealybug in Oregon


PORTLAND, June 19, 2023 — The Oregon Winegrowers Association (OWA) partnered with Oregon State University, the Oregon Department of Agriculture, and industry associations to secure $447,100 in emergency state funding to help contain and eradicate vine mealybug (VMB) in Southern Oregon. The funding comes in the waning days of the contentious 2023 legislative session. Mealybug funding was included in a consensus end of session budget bill, SB 5506, that passed the Joint Ways & Means Committee June 20. It heads to the Senate and House floor for final passage before the legislatures adjourns this week.

The wine industry, in partnership with OSU and ODA, developed a strong proposal to address an emergent need for Oregon growers and wineries.

“The OWA is leading our industry’s advocacy efforts to secure state and federal support to address pest and disease pressures that are worsened by climate change,” said Brian Gruber, OWA President and a leading industry expert on VMB in Oregon. “By addressing the VMB threat early, we will have improved our chances of protecting our growers and wineries from economic harm.”

VMB is an invasive, non-native pest that feeds on many plants with a preference for grape vines. The VMB can cause significant damage to vineyards through two mechanisms – grape rot and vine disease. In particular, the VMB is an excellent transmitter of some of the most dangerous grapevine viruses like leafroll. This virus leads to declines in yields and often, over time, death of vines is possible. A large infestation of VMB could be potentially devastating to the $7 billion Oregon wine industry. Fortunately, there are tools to manage this threat. The $447,100 will be utilized by the ODA and OSU in partnership with growers in the affected area to contain and eradicate VMB. 

According to Dr. Alec Levin, Director of the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center (SOREC) in Central Point, “Both ODA and OSU have skilled resources ready to work with the industry to control and monitor this issue. And the growers in the affected area are organized and willing to collaborate with ODA and OSU to do the suppression work. This strong partnership will allow us to get a handle on this pest.”  

About Oregon Winegrowers Association

Harnessing the power of state-wide consensus, the Oregon Winegrowers Association stands as the vital advocate for the health, growth and economic sustainability of Oregon’s wine industry. We are a member-driven advocacy group advancing the interests of the largest agricultural economic impact section in the state. Visit www.oregonwinegrowers.org for more information.



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