The cost of the glassy-winged sharpshooter to California grape, citrus and nursery producers
In the late 1990s, widespread outbreaks of Pierce's disease in grapevines were linked to transmission via the glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS), threatening California's multibillion-dollar table, raisin and wine grape industries. Government agencies responded to the crisis by implementing two control programs to manage GWSS. We analyzed the long-term economic impact of these two programs on citrus, grape and nursery producers. The net economic effects on all citrus producers and on grape producers in the southern San Joaquin Valley were insignificant, while all grape producers in the Temecula Valley saw an average increase in annual production costs of about $13.04 an acre. Based on our survey of nurseries in Southern California, approximately 11% had an infestation in 2008 and 2009, but only 3.0% in 2010. Average losses to nurseries per GWSS infestation were about $12,238. Nursery producers also undertook a variety of pest control methods to prevent infestations and plant losses, and to meet quarantine regulations. Average annual per-acre costs of these approaches were $2,975 for barrier methods to prevent GWSS from entering a premises, $1,032 in pesticide controls and $1,588 for in-house monitoring.