Varela briefs congressional staff on IPM in grapes
Lucia Varela, UC Cooperative Extension area integrated pest management advisor, was invited by the Office of U.S. Representative Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, to participate in a panel discussion for the Congressional Invasive Species Caucus and Congressional Wine Caucus on Nov. 16 in Washington, DC.
Varela, who serves the North Coast, was one of three speakers, which included Osama El-Lissy, USDA-APHIS deputy administrator, and Tremain Hatch, Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension viticulture research associate.
Varela highlighted three invasive species of concern in California: Glassy-winged sharpshooter as a vector of the pathogen that causes Pierce's disease; vine mealybug as a vector of grapevine leafroll virus; and European grapevine moth. She described research being conducted by Agriculture Experiment Station faculty and UCCE specialists and advisors on these three invasive species and on disease epidemiology. The UC IPM advisor also discussed strategies for prevention and early detection of exotic pests.
The panel was convened to help educate Congressional staff about how environmentally sound pest management research is to ensuring the sustainability and growth of the wine industry for years to come.