New Officers for the PD/GWSS Board
At its January 22, 2018 meeting, the PD/GWSS Board elected new officers to serve during 2018. The new officers are Ryan Metzler (Chair) of Fresno, Keith Horn (Vice Chair) of St. Helena, and Domonic Rossini (Treasurer) of Modesto.
Outgoing chair Pam Bond, of Oakville, was elected chair of the PD/GWSS Board for a one-year term at the January 2017 meeting, succeeding outgoing chair Nat DiBuduo, of Fresno.
Newly elected Board Chair Metzler, formerly the Board’s vice chair, is a fourth generation farmer raised in the Fresno area. A graduate of Fresno State, he formerly served as vice-president of Capital Agricultural Property
Services, the property management division of Prudential Ag Investments, where he managed many farm operations in the West. He now is the owner and operator of Fruita Del Sol, a certified organic producer, and farms 200 acres of winegrapes and tree fruit in the Fresno/Sanger area. Metzler is also a Lt. Cmdr. in the U.S. Navy Reserve with 27 years of service.
“I’m excited to play a part in the PD/GWSS program which is helping to protect California’s winegrape industry,” Metzler said, “It’s really humbling to be on the Board with so many leaders in the industry and help manage the public and private coordination of resources to help fight this pest and disease. With continued research and close management, this board continues to find solutions to this challenge.” (more…)
Santa Clara County Clear of GWSS for the First Time in 17 Years
Over the years, a number of small glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS) infestations have been eradicated in California. The latest eradication in Santa Clara County brings the total to 18 infestations that have been eradicated since 2000.
Santa Clara County has been particularly hard hit with GWSS infestations, with six of them since the first was detected in December 2001.
“We are very fortunate to have our tremendous staff return year after year to work on this program,” said Eric Wylde, Deputy Agricultural Commissioner for Santa Clara County. “And I have to say that, overall, we have also had great support from the residents and business owners who have been involved with this program for providing access to properties for inspection and/or treatment, irrigating prior to ground treatments, calling in suspect insects, and much more.”
When a GWSS is found on a trap in a new area, additional traps are put out to see if any more are in the area, and if so, what the boundaries of the infestation are. Often tiny parasitoid wasps are released in the area to help slow or stop further spreading of GWSS. The females of these wasps search out GWSS eggs and insert their eggs into the GWSS eggs. Inside the GWSS egg, the wasp’s egg hatches into a larva which then feeds on the GWSS egg. Soon a wasp emerges, and the process starts all over again.
Unfortunately, wasps can’t do it all alone. Treatment with insecticides is necessary, but before any treatments are begun, flyers are placed on all homes in the area notifying the public of why and how the treatments will be conducted. Also, a public meeting is held in the immediate area to help inform local residents about upcoming treatments.
Trapping continues until no additional GWSS are trapped in the area for two years. After two years of no GWSS being found, the infestation for that area is considered eradicated.