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  • In Remembrance
    Past PD/GWSS Board Chairman
    Ben Drake

    Past PD/GWSS Board Chairman Ben Drake has died following a two-year struggle with cancer. He was also a former member of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture. In these capacities and in so many more local and statewide positions of leadership in agriculture, Ben gave freely of his time and his experience in service to his beloved Temecula Valley and the larger agricultural community. Ben was instrumental in the formation, funding, and development of the original Pierce’s Disease Control Program, and that was merely the beginning of his story, his contributions, and his value for our organization.

    Ben Drake, winegrape grower and past PD/GWSS Board Chairman

    Ben knew grapes. He knew water. He knew a thing or two about avocados and 4-H and very long list of other topics in the agricultural realm. But he was also quick with a joke or a good story. A staff member here at CDFA recalls first meeting Ben back in 1999, shortly after the discovery of Pierce’s disease in Temecula vineyards. It was a time of high stress and dire predictions, and tensions were high. But as Ben invited several car-loads of colleagues through the front gate at his place, the first thing he did was talk about his kids. As busy as life was, he had a firm and healthy grasp on priorities.

    Those dire early predictions about the future of his local vineyards have not come true, and Ben’s own efforts played no small part in ensuring that. For those of you who were fortunate enough to serve on the PD/GWSS Board with Ben or otherwise enjoyed his company, you know what we have all lost – and what we gained from his presence, his service, and his friendship.

    Raise your glasses high. Thank you, Ben.

  • PD Control Program Update –
    Nursery Regulatory Program

    From January 1, 2018 through September 30, 2018, there were 27,991 nursery stock shipments from the glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS) generally-infested areas to non-infested areas of the state. Shipments were down by 1,627 compared to the same period in 2017.

    “Shipping nurseries and county agricultural inspectors continue to do a tremendous job ensuring that nursery stock shipments destined for non-infested counties are GWSS-free,” said Stacie Oswalt, a Senior Environmental Scientist with the CDFA’s PD Control Program.  “This year marks the first time in the Program’s history that no viable life stages have been found on nursery stock shipments at destination between January and October.”

    No regulatory actions have been necessary so far this year. During the same time frame last year, six regulatory actions were taken. Since January 1, 2018, origin county inspectors have stopped 45 egg masses, 1 nymph, and 2 adults from moving in nursery stock shipments.

    An inspector in a Southern California nursery checks a plant for any signs of glassy-winged sharpshooters before the plant is loaded for shipment to Northern California.

    Nursery Stock Approved Treatment Program (ATP)

    From January 1, 2018 through September 30, 2018, there were 10,298 ATP shipments consisting of 2,695,333 plants. ATP shipments and number of plants for the same time frame in 2017 were 10,213 and 2,784,779, respectively. No regulatory actions have been necessary year to date.

    High Risk Nursery Trap Finds in 2018

    • Contra Costa County: On June 4, one GWSS was found on a trap at a retail nursery in the city of Brentwood. The delimitation survey concluded with no further detections.
    • Madera County: On August 23, one GWSS was found on a trap at a retail nursery in the Madera Ranchos area. The delimitation survey concluded with no further detections.
    • Placer County: On June 19, one GWSS was found on a trap at a retail nursery in the city of Lincoln. The delimitation survey concluded with no further detections.

    Urban/Residential Trap Find and Delimitation

    Merced County: On October 18, one GWSS was found on a trap at a property in Delhi. The delimitation survey has started around this find with no further detections to date.