SACRAMENTO-The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Pierce’s Disease and Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter Board will meet February 14, 2002, in Shell Beach, CA. The group, appointed by CDFA Secretary William (Bill) J. Lyons, Jr., is made up of growers and processors from the state’s major grape growing regions and will be responsible for making program recommendations to CDFA.
The meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Cliffs Resort, located at 2757 Shell Beach Road in Shell Beach, CA 93449.
The board was created by Governor Gray Davis when he signed AB 1394 by Assemblymember Patricia Wiggins (D-Santa Rosa) on July 25, 2001. This law provides for an annual assessment to be paid by the industry to help fund scientific research and other measures to find a treatment or cure for Pierce’s disease and to respond to glassy-winged sharpshooter infestations.
Pierce's disease is a lethal disease that afflicts grapevines and is caused by the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa. At least twenty-four counties in California have reported cases of Pierce's disease. Several years ago, it was discovered that the glassy-winged sharpshooter, a non-native leafhopper, was spreading Pierce's disease in Southern California, having a devastating impact on vineyards and — to a lesser degree — on oleanders and almonds. This outbreak caused losses of millions of dollars to growers in the Temecula Valley.
Infestations of the glassy-winged sharpshooter have been identified in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Ventura, Santa Clara, Imperial, Sacramento, Contra Costa, Butte, Fresno, Tulare, Kern and Santa Barbara counties. To stop the spread of the pest, the CDFA has inspected more than 50,000 shipments of nursery plants and more than 100,000 shipments of grapes in the past year.
Governor Davis has taken a number of steps to prevent this threat to California's $33 billion wine industry. Over the past two years, the governor has signed legislation providing over $17 million to boost research and eradication efforts. To date, more than $39 million in state and federal funds has been allocated to fight Pierce's disease and the glassy-winged sharpshooter. CDFA coordinates the statewide regulatory program, which includes long-term research and short-term eradication and control programs.
For additional information on the glassy-winged sharpshooter and Pierce’s disease, please visit www.cdfa.ca.gov/gwss.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814