California Winegrowers Applaud $5 Million to Battle Disease

California Winegrowers Applaud $5 Million to Battle Disease

The California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) praised the recent inclusion of a $5 million one-year augmentation for the Pierce’s Disease Control Program (PDCP) in the 2017-18 state budget, saying the money was much-needed.

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The PDCP is administered by the Pierce’s Disease/Glassy-winged Sharpshooter (PD/GWSS) Board within the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

The $5 million will be used to support the PDCP’s mission, which is to minimize the statewide impact of Pierce’s disease and its vectors in California. The program provides much-needed protection to California’s valuable wine and grape industry and the economic activity it generates.

From 2000 to 2011, CAWG says the PDCP was considered a model for how state, federal, and industry funds could be used in collaboration to tackle critical agricultural issues. The program receives federal funding, but has received no state funding since 2011.

CAWG pushed to secure the $5 million budget augmentation in the state Senate and Assembly. Thirty lawmakers signed a bipartisan and bicameral letter to the budget committees asking for the funding. Several assembly members testified in support of the augmentation, worked closely with CAWG, and led the efforts in the state legislature. CAWG’s goal is to continue advocating for the state to invest in the PDCP in future budget years.

“CAWG sought this critical funding – which represents the first state investment in the program since 2011 – because the Pierce’s Disease Control Program provides vital services that protect vineyards from potentially devastating infestations and disease,” said CAWG Director of Government Relations Michael Miiller. “This funding was not in the governor’s proposed budget in January. However, through CAWG’s engagement and advocacy over the past five months, lawmakers and the governor saw the value of this program and agreed to the additional funding. CAWG is grateful to legislative leaders and the Brown administration for their support of the program and board.”