agricultural operators and their residential neighbors. That situation warrants the reduction of exposure, and it highlights the need to avoid the imposition of rules and regulations that reduce flexibility in controlling agricultural pests. It is clear that PD–GWSS research priorities must reflect awareness of the social milieu in which management strategies will be implemented.

Economic Factors

Pierce’s disease is not new to California, but concern about it has increased since the introduction of GWSS (Office of the President, 1999). Clearly, the scale of the recent investment into PD–GWSS research indicates the potential economic consequences for California’s agriculture and economy. Large-scale factors, such as the current supply of and demand for grapes and the resulting effects on prices, will influence the ability of the industry to respond to the threat. For individual growers and producers, options and approaches for PD–GWSS management will be influenced by perceived and actual costs, risks, and benefits. Recent trends in the market indicate an oversupply of California grapes, and that could influence the concern about yield loss attributable to PD, and dampen enthusiasm for PD–GWSS research (Murphy, 2003).

Economics is important in all aspects of the PD problem, from estimating current and future losses, to understanding how existing control strategies might be implemented most economically, to evaluating which management strategies still in development might realistically be adopted by growers and producers. One difficulty is that not much economic information has been collected on the PD problem.



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