A.G. Kawamura, Secretary of California’s Department of Food and Agriculture, has set the wine grape-Pierce’s disease assessment at 75 cents per $1,000 dollars crushed value for the 2010 wine grape harvest.

The Pierce’s Disease/Glassy-winged Sharpshooter (PD/GWSS) Board had recommended the 75-cent level. Wine grapes were assessed at $1 per $1,000 dollars crushed value the two previous harvests.

“By setting the rate at 75 cents per $1,000 of value for this year, the board feels it can continue with the important work that we’re doing on Pierce’s disease while acknowledging that this is a difficult time for growers all over the state,” said PD/GWSS Board Chairman Greg Coleman.

“We are in a position to stay on track with our research goals and also provide a degree of relief to our growers, and the board felt it was important to do that under the current economic circumstances.”

The annual assessment is used primarily to fund research directed toward a solution for Pierce’s disease, a bacterium vectored by the glassy-winged sharpshooter that kills grape vines.