The Economic Benefits from Virus-Screening: A Case Study of Grapevine Leafroll in the North Coast of California
Kate Binzen Fuller, Julian M. Alston, Deborah A. Golino
American Journal of Enology and Viticulture
Viruses and related pathogens have no cure and impose high costs on nurseries and crop producers. These diseases are typically spread through infected planting stock and plant propagation material. However, virus spread can be minimized if clean stock is used. This paper presents the costs and benefits of a virus screening program for Grapevine Leafroll associated Virus-3 (GLRaV-3) in the North Coast region of California. Grower costs and benefits from using GLRaV-3-free vines were computed, and extrapolated to the North Coast industry as a whole. Economic benefits from the GLRaV-3 testing and cleaning program were found to be in excess of $50 million per year for the region and substantially outweighed the costs. The results showed potential benefits from removing and replacing diseased vines rather than leaving them in the vineyard where they can be foci for disease spread. In addition, significant costs are associated with disease entering from infected vines in neighboring properties.
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