Fighting Invasive Species
by Cliff Ohmart
The California wine industry has had the great misfortune during the last 15 years of experiencing the serious economic impacts of invasive pest species, including the vine mealybug (VMB) and the glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS). Most of the economic impact so far has been through money spent on containment, and in the case of GWSS/Pierce's disease, a major research program seeking to manage this deadly insect/pathogen combination. Nevertheless, the Temecula region lost more than one-third of its vineyard acres due to GWSS-vectored Pierce's disease. As these pests slowly spread--which they inevitably will, despite rigorous efforts to contain them--their economic impact will only grow larger.
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