PD/GWSS Board Makes Recommendation for 2016 Winegrape Assessment
The PD/GWSS Board voted during their June 21 meeting to recommend raising the winegrape assessment for the 2016 harvest to $1.25 per $1,000 of value.
The rate had been set at $.75 per $1,000 of value since 2013 but the Board recognized the need to raise the assessment rate to pay for current and future research obligations while maintaining a prudent reserve.
The assessment funds research to find solutions to Pierce’s disease, a deadly grapevine bacterial disease vectored by the glassy-winged sharpshooter and similar types of insects.
Assessment funds are also used to fund research and outreach on other winegrape pests and diseases. These pests and diseases are designated by the Board as posing serious dangers to winegrapes. So far the European grapevine moth (EGVM), mealybugs, brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), red blotch (GRBaV), fanleaf, and leafroll have all been designated as serious threats to California’s winegrapes and the Board has funded research on most of these.
The recommendation will soon be sent to CDFA Secretary Karen Ross for her final approval.
PD/GWSS Board Tastes Wine Made From PD-Resistant Grapevines
After the April joint meeting of the PD/GWSS Board and the PD Advisory Task Force, members were invited to the offices of the California Association of Winegrape Growers to taste wines made from grapes grown from PD-resistant grapevines.
For over two decades Dr. Andy Walker from UC Davis has been using traditional breeding methods to develop grapevines resistant to PD.
Dr. Walker’s work has been built on a foundation of naturally PD-resistant native grapevines that were collected from the U.S. and Mexico by Dr. Harold Olmo during the 1960s and 1970s. Dr. Walker has also added to that collection over the years. It is from this group of wild grapevines that the genes that impart PD-resistance were identified and bred into winegrapes.