March 11, 2001
Two important points in "Table-Grape Dispute Could Sour Australia-Calif. Trade Relations" [March 3] need clarification. Australia is free of many of the most destructive pests and diseases affecting other agricultural economies. Our [Australian] agricultural exports are of paramount importance to our economy. Australian wine and table grapes are important exports. Grapes are grown in all states of Australia. Australia, in contrast to many of the countries that import Californian table grapes, does not have Pierce's disease nor its troublesome insect carrier, the glassy-winged sharpshooter.
January 1, 1994 |
Second Pest Threatens State Vineyards: California's wine industry, still hurting from the root-eating pest phylloxera, now faces a threat from the sharpshooter, a quarter-inch-long insect that is attacking vineyards in the wine country north of San Francisco. The insect feeds on many different plants, including young grapevines, sucking the sap. It does not kill the plants directly but carries xylella fastidiosa, a bacterium that causes many maladies, including the fatal Pierce's disease.