General, Vineyard Management

The Costs and Benefits of Pierce’s Disease Research in the California Winegrape Industry



Pierce’s Disease (PD) of grapevines costs more than $100 million per year, even with public control programs in place that cost $50 million per year (Tumber et al., 2012). If the PD Control Program ended, and the GWSS was distributed freely throughout California, the annual cost to the winegrape industry would increase by more than $185 million (Alston et al., 2012). Using a simulation model of the market for California winegrapes, we estimate the benefits from research, development and adoption of PD-resistant vines as ranging from $4 million to $125 million annually over a 50 year horizon, depending on the length of the R&D lag and the rate of adoption. In addition to these quantitative results the paper offers insight into the broader question of economic evaluation of damage-mitigation technology for perennial crops.

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