PD/GWSS Assessment & Referendum
Pierce's Disease and Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter Assessment
In 2001, an annual, value-based assessment on winegrapes was established to fund PD/GWSS research and related activities. The PD/GWSS Board was also established at that time. The Board advises the California Department of Food and Agriculture on the best use of assessment funds, ensuring dollars are spent wisely and productively to find solutions to PD, GWSS, and other designated pests and diseases of winegrapes.
The Board has invested over $49.5 million since 2001 on research and outreach. The Board sets the annual assessment rate, with a maximum of $3.00 per $1,000 of value. The annual assessment rate has averaged $1.35 per $1,000 of value and has been set at $1.25 for the 2023 harvest.
PD/GWSS Assessment Extended Through 2026
The PD/GWSS Referendum, conducted Spring 2020, passed with 78 percent approval of California winegrape growers. All winegrape producer entities that paid the assessment on grapes crushed in 2019 received ballots and 49 percent cast ballots.
Through the renewal of the assessment, growers’ continued commitment to the industry and government partnership, led by the statewide Pierce’s Disease Control Program, leverages funding for essential activities, including:
- Maintaining and monitoring GWSS traps
- Conducting nursery stock shipment inspections
- Overseeing nursery stock treatments
- Controlling GWSS using area-wide management programs
- Operating a biological control program to suppress GWSS populations
The PD/GWSS Referendum is conducted every five years by law, and will take place again in 2025.
Voter Eligibility and Timeline
To establish the list of eligible grower voters for the 2025 vote, CDFA will request all wineries and winegrape processors to submit the names, mailing addresses, and assessment values of all producers who paid the assessment on grapes crushed during the 2024 harvest. Every entity that produced winegrapes in 2024 will receive a ballot in March or April 2025. Growers who operate multiple entities will receive a separate ballot for each entity. Each ballot should be voted and returned.
At least 40 percent of the eligible voting entities must cast ballots for the referendum to be valid. Passage of the referendum requires either:
- Of those who vote, 65 percent vote “yes,” and the “yes” voters must have paid the majority of the assessment that was paid by those who voted;
- Of those who vote, a majority vote “yes,” and the “yes” voters must have paid 65 percent or more of the assessment that was paid by those who voted.