Pierce's Disease Control Program
It’s been over 20 years since concerns over Pierce’s Disease spread by the glassy-winged sharpshooter prompted the formation of the CDFA’s Pierce’s Disease Control Program. Efforts to control the pest have been successful, thanks to coordinated collaboration, says the program’s statewide coordinator, Craig Haines.
Haines… “Back in the early two thousands, you know, glassy-winged sharpshooter was found not only in Kern where we knew it had a foothold, but also in areas of Tulare and Fresno. And of course we have since then had different infestations as far north, as Contra Costa, Sacramento, and Butte counties. But all of those have all been actually long since eradicated, not just recently but eradicated years ago and have not showed up since.”
But it’s important to remain vigilant with a pest that can threaten so much of Claifornia’s agriculture.
Haines… “Dr. Andy Walker, he had been working on viticulture, actually all things viticulture at UC Davis for over 30 years. And I know on the research side in terms of things that grape growers can certainly see in the future is a release from UC Davis of the five new Pierce's Disease resistant varietals. And these were basically bred through traditional breeding that they are 94% to 97% vinifera wine grape. So that would certainly be another one of the milestones of the program.”
Contact information for the Pierce’s Disease Control Program can be found on the CDFA website.