SACRAMENTO, CA: The state Department of Food and Agriculture has issued an RFP that could be worth up to $500,000 over the next year. The contract will focus on outreach and education on Pierce's disease, which can devastate grapevines, and the glassy-winged sharpshooter, the insect that carries it.
The statewide push will target a range of stakeholders, including winery owners and grape growers, pest-control advisers and academic institutions, and members of the public and press.
The selected agency will communicate statewide about new research, the distribution of state and federal funds to control the disease, industry assessments, and other developments.
The push builds upon efforts initiated last year to boost public awareness of the disease to more quickly detect infestations.
Outreach has included an interactive website, media interviews, face-to-face conversations with growers, and displays at public events.
Pierce's disease threatens the state's $3.2 billion grape industry, as well as $33 billion in vertical markets.