About the Board and Funding

About the Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter

About Pierce’s Disease


About the Board and Funding

  • Q) Why was the assessment and PD/GWSS Board created?

    A) California Assembly Bill 1394 created an assessment to raise funds earmarked for research related to the Pierce’s Disease bacterium (Xylella fastidiosa) and the Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter. As part of the bill, the Pierce’s Disease/Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter Board was created to direct those funds. The assessment pertains only to grapes grown in California and crushed for wine, wine vinegar, juice concentrate or beverage brandy, and was renewed 2006. Senate Bill 1650 which extends the assessment until 2011, was signed by the governor was overwhelming passed by California’s winegrape growers. In 2010, winegrape growers voted again on the assessment and once again the assessment passed by an overwhelming majority. Another vote will take place in the spring of 2015.

  • Q) How long has the PD/GWSS Board been in existence?

    A) The Board was established in July 2001.

  • Q) How many people are on the board?

    A) The board consists of at least 14 members and no more than 15 members, with a specific number of representatives who are producers and processors in the grape industry and appointed by the CDFA Secretary. Click on the image for an enlarged view. Click here for a list of board members.

    PD/GWSS Board - Director's Districts (map)










  •   Q) At what rates have winegrape growers been assessed?

A) Each year the PD/GWSS Board makes recommendations to CDFA for the assessment rate which by law can be no greater than $3 per $1,000 of value. The assessment rate is generally set in the summer just before most of the harvest for that year takes place. For example, the rate for 2003 was set in the summer of 2003. The first year the rate was set, 2001, the rate was set at $3 per $1000.

2002 - $2.00 per $1,000
2003 - $2.00 per $1,000
2004 - $2.00 per $1,000
2005 - $2.00 per $1,000
2006 - $2.00 per $1,000
2007 - $1.50 per $1,000
2008 - $1.00 per $1,000
2009 - $1.00 per $1,000
2010 - $ .75 per $1,000
2011 - $ .75 per $1,000
2012 - $1.00 per $1,000
2013 - $ .75 per $1,000
2014 - $ .75 per $1,000
2015 - $ .75 per $1,000
2016 - $1.25 per $1,000
2017 - $1.50 per $1,000
2018 - $1.50 per $1,000
  • Q) Why has the rate been going down then up?

    A) In the beginning there was a great deal of basic research that needed to be done just to gain an understanding for what methods would be the most likely to lead to a solution. As time has past, and more has been learned, the research has become more focused. Also, the Board has been spending down a researve during the recession. Also now that many of the basics are known, the board can afford to be much more selective in the research that is funded.

    The increase in 2017 was due maining to uncertainties and cost-sharing considerations tied to the program’s federal funding which made it clear that more money was needed to achieve a specific revenue threshold. As noted by PD/GWSS Board Chair Pam Bond, “We have a great program that is working to the benefit of California’s winegrape growers, and we don’t want to see our gains washed away by any budget shortfalls.”

  • Q) How does the Board review and prioritize projects?

    A) Each year a Request for Proposals (RFP) is issued to solicit research proposals from the research community. Once the proposals have been received, they go through an extensive, multi-level review process where they are evaluated by outside experts, panels of scientists, and committees comprised of scientists, research program administrators, and industry representatives. During the review process the PD/GWSS Research Scientific Advisory Panel (RSAP) provides input on which proposals best match currently-recommended research priorities.

  • Q) How can the research being done act as a platform for long-term improvements?

    A) The research being funded by the PD/GWSS Board has already gone a long way to improving our understanding of how insect vectors infect grapevines as well as how bacteria invade and spread in the plants. Research ranging from the use of tiny wasps to reduce GWSS populations to developing methods to fast-track the breeding of PD resistant grapevines can be used for a wide range of purposes in the grape industry, such as improving winegrape stock or fighting the next invasive pest that invades California.

  • Q) How much has the assessment raised?

    A) As of 2014 the assessment has raised over $45 million. This money has been effectively leveraged more than ten-fold to fund a host of other activities to fight PD and GWSS. However, since FY2012 all state funding has been dropped due to the statewide budget crisis. Click on the chart to enlarge it.

History of Board revenues, research funding, and SMIF - ver07.xl

Q) What are some upcoming research projects for the future?

A) To continue with the significant progress that has been already achieved, the program is currently conducting these promising field trials:

      • New PD-resistant grape varieties resulting from traditional
      • PD disruption in grape varieties resulting from genetic
      • PD-controlling rootstocks that disrupt the disease in
        commercial scion varieties
      • Bacterial endophytes that colonize a vine’s water-
        conducting tissue and disrupt the growth of PD
      • External sprays of compounds/molecules that disrupt
        PD existing vines


  • Q) How much has been spent on just research?

    Q) What is the total amount that has been spent on control, containment, research and inspections?

    A) Here is a break down by year of the total spent since 1999. The total are a combination of federal, state, & industry funds. This includes pilot projects, the Grapevine Loss Assistance Program, the Nursery Pest Mitigation Program, research, and many other activities.

State Fiscal Year

Total $$ Allocated for PD/GWSS

FY 1999-00

$ 30,899,000

FY 2000-01

$ 17,740,000

FY 2001-02

$ 38,513,000

FY 2002-03

$ 43,346,000

FY 2003-04

$ 45,004,000

FY 2004-05

$ 39,050,000

FY 2005-06

$ 41,907,000

FY 2006-07

$ 39,619,000

FY 2007-08

$ 38,736,000

FY 2008-09

$ 37,248,000

FY 2009-10

$ 38,539,348

FY 2010-11

$ 35,789,484

FY 2011-12

$ 28,392,581

FY 2012-13

$ 28,028,536

FY 2013-14

$ 27,268,096



  • Source CDFA PD Control Program – For more info – click here

About the Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter

  • Q) When did the GWSS arrive in California?

    Glassy Winged SharpshootersA) It is believed that it arrived in California in the late 1980s, probably from Florida. However, it wasn’t until 1999, when grape vines started dying on a massive scale in Temecula, that the full extent of the threat the GWSS posed to California agriculture was recognized.

  • Q) Why is it a threat to grapes?

    A) The GWSS carries a disease called Pierce’s disease that is deadly to grape vines.

  • Q) Does it pose a threat to other plants?

    A) Yes – the GWSS is known to feed on more than 100 plant species found in urban and rural landscapes and spreads other diseases such as Leaf scorch to almonds and Alfalfa dwarf to alfalfa. In addition, GWSS can weaken plants making them susceptible to diseases not carried by the GWSS itself.

  • Q) How can the GWSS be eliminated from California?

    A) There are a number of effective ways of control the GWSS ranging from chemical treatments to the release of biological control agents, such as a tiny wasp that feeds on the eggs of the GWSS. However, GWSS has established itself in much of Southern and Central California, so at this time total eradication of the insect from the state is not possible.

  • Q) How widespread in the GWSS in California?

    A) As of January 2014 there were infestation of GWSS in 12 counties. Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara,  Tulare, Ventura. However, there have been infestations of GWSS as far north as Butt County.

About Pierce’s Disease

  • Q) What is Pierce’s Disease?PD2

    A) The PD bacterium clogs a vine’s water conducting vessels, interfering with their ability to draw water and other nutrients from the soil. In effect the vine slowly starves to death.

  • Q) How long has PD been in California?

    A) PD was first identified in California over 100 years ago and was then called Anaheim Disease because it was killing grape vines in and around Anaheim. Over the decades, there have been several major outbreaks of the disease. The introduction of the GWSS into California has given PD an effective new vector to spread the disease.

  • Q) Can PD be found in other part of the U.S.?

    A) The  bacterium that causes PD (Xylella fastidiosa) is found in many parts of the U.S. from Texas, through the lower Mid-West, all through the South and up the East Coast. The bacterium can not live through cold, severe, winters. As a result, is not found in regions such as New England, through New York and the upper Mid-West. You will not find PD anyplace that experiences regular, prolonged freezing temperatures in the winter.

  • Q) Can it be transmitted to humans?

    A) No – While Pierce’s Disease can be found just about everywhere in California it only affects certain plants and cannot be transmitted to humans. Many native species of plants host PD while showing little or no signs of any infection.

  • Q) How long does it take to kill a vine?

    A) Depending on the age and health of the vine, generally two to four years.

Comments are closed.