California Gov. Gray Davis approved a bill on July 25 that could raise around $5 million in the fight against Pierce's disease, a fatal vine malady that potentially threatens vineyards across the state's wine regions.
"This bill is a great example of industry and government coming together to combat a serious threat," Davis told a group of wine and farming industry officials as he signed the legislation at Bogle Winery, near Sacramento.
California legislator Patricia Wiggins (D-Santa Rosa) introduced the bill in February in reaction to concerns by growers in her district. The bill establishes an advisory board of industry executives to oversee and accelerate research on the disease. Funding will be provided by an annual assessment paid by grapegrowers.
Federal, state and industry sources have already contributed $39.2 million to cure the disease and contain the pest that spreads it. Fifteen counties in the state currently are generally or partially infested with the glassy-winged sharpshooter, a far-flying, voracious insect that spreads the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa, which clogs the vascular system of vines. # # #
Read Daniel Sogg's cover story on Pierce's disease and the glassy-winged sharpshooter:Oct. 15, 2000
California Vineyard Apocalypse
Read our past news reports on Pierce's disease:July 10, 2001
Dreaded Vine Pest Found in California's Santa Clara County May 24, 2001
As Summer Approaches, California Vintners Go on Heightened Alert for Dreaded Vine PestOct. 13, 2000
Infestation of Deadly Vine Pest Found Near Napa ValleyOct. 12, 2000
Sonoma Wineries and Environmentalists Battle Over PesticidesOct. 11, 2000
Pierce's Disease Carrier Found in California's Santa Ynez AppellationSept. 18, 2000
Deadly Vineyard Pest Discovered at Sonoma County NurseryJuly 28, 2000
California Sets Statewide Controls as Deadly Vine Pest Is Found in North Coast June 23, 2000
Agricultural Emergency Declared in California Due To Deadly Vine PestApril 4, 2000
As Deadly Vine Disease Spreads, California Promises Funds to Fight ItFeb. 25, 2000
Deadly Vine Disease in California Draws Congressional AttentionFeb. 14, 2000
California Growers Battle Carrier of Pierce's DiseaseSept. 16, 1999
Pierce's Disease Devastates Vineyards in California's Temecula Region