Pierce’s disease (PD), caused by the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa, is quite prevalent in many locations this year.  The cold winter this last year has not made up for the two previous warm winters, so the bacterium has survived and prospered over the last 2-3 years. Unfortunately, once vines are infected and symptomatic, the vines need to be destroyed immediately or as soon as possible to prevent further spread.  Accurate identification is important, as one does not want to destroy vines with chemical damage or some other issue which mimics PD.  We are starting a pilot program in which select county agents will use kits to confirm PD if questions exist.  If you need help with  identification, please contact your local county agents.  They will be glad to help — making sure that you know all the symptoms of PD and confirming that Xylella is the cause of the symptoms you observe. If you can’t destroy vines now, you need to flag vines for  destruction as soon as harvest has been completed.

Pierce’s disease on Vitis vinifera vine in northern Georgia (2018).
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