The PD/GWSS Board voted during their June 19 meeting to recommend the winegrape assessment for the 2017 harvest be set at $1.50 per $1,000 of value. Following the meeting, that recommendation was forwarded to and approved by CDFA Secretary Karen Ross.
For the 2016 harvest, the rate was $1.25 per $1,000 of value, while over the 16-year life of the assessment, the rate has averaged $1.41 of $1,000 of value.
The assessment is used to fund research on Pierce’s disease and, beginning in 2010, can also be used to fund research on other pests and diseases of winegrapes. These pests and diseases are designated by the Board as posing serious threats to winegrapes. So far the European grapevine moth, mealybugs, brown marmorated stink bug, red blotch virus, fanleaf virus, and leafroll virus have been designated as serious threats to California’s winegrapes, and the Board has funded research on all of these. In addition to research, the assessment is also used to support related program activities.
“Setting the assessment rate at $1.50 per $1,000 for this year’s crop will ensure that we can continue to fund important research not just on Pierce’s disease but also on other winegrape pests and diseases” said PD/GWSS Board Chair Pam Bond. “To that end, the Board’s budget for the coming fiscal year includes $2.1 million for research related to Pierce’s disease and $1.5 million for research on other pests and diseases.”
“Additionally, uncertainties and cost-sharing considerations tied to the program’s federal funding made it clear that we needed to achieve a specific revenue threshold with this year’s assessment” noted 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.”