SACRAMENTO-The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Pierce’s Disease/Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter Board will meet March 27, 2002, in Sacramento, 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 the CDFA.
The meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the CDFA Main Auditorium, 1220 “N” Street, Room 127, Sacramento, CA 95814.
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. The disease has been present in California for decades, killing thousands of acres of grapevines as far back as the late 1800’s. At least 24 counties in California have reported cases of Pierce's disease. In 1999, it was discovered that a new leafhopper, known as the glassy-winged sharpshooter, was spreading Pierce's disease in Southern California.
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, CDFA and agricultural commissioners have inspected 50,000 shipments of nursery plants and more than 100,000 shipments of grapes.
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 provided over $20 million to boost research and eradication efforts. To date, more than $50 million in state and federal funds have been allocated to fight Pierce's disease and the glassy-winged sharpshooter.
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