California Department of Food and Agricu

PD/GWSS Assessment & Referendum

Pierce's Disease and Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter Assessment

Pie graph showing distribution of research funding

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 CDFA Secretary 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. Over the years, the assessment rate has averaged $1.39 per $1,000 of crop value. Over $45 million has been spent on research since 2001. The assessment rate for the 2019 harvest is $1.00 per $1,000 of value.

PD/GWSS Referendum Slated for Spring 2020

California winegrape growers will vote this spring on extending the PD/GWSS assessment for another five years, to March 2026. The assessment funds research to find solutions to PD, GWSS, and additional designated pests and diseases of winegrapes. The last time growers voted, over 80 percent favored continuing the winegrape assessment.

Voter Eligibility and Timeline

To establish the list of eligible grower voters, 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 2019 harvest. Every entity that produced winegrapes in 2019 will receive a ballot in March or April 2020. Growers who operate multiple entities will receive a separate ballot for each entity. Each ballot should be voted and returned.

Passage Requirements

At least 40 percent of the eligible voting entities must cast ballots for the referendum to be valid. Passage of the referendum requires either:
 

  1. 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;
    OR

  2. 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.