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    Pest Threatens Vineyards, Potentially Raising Wine Prices

    The California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) has issued an urgent warning to winemakers across the state, calling for heightened vigilance in response to the growing threat posed by the spotted lanternfly. This insect, known for laying eggs in the summer, has been detected in several locations, with American media reporting potential outbreaks of adult insects in the coming weeks. Experts fear this pest could “devastate” California’s lucrative wine industry.

    California is responsible for producing 80% of America’s wine, making it the largest wine-producing state in the U.S. and the fourth-largest wine region globally. According to the Wine Institute, the state’s wine industry generates approximately $73 billion annually, employs 422,000 workers, and attracts millions of tourists each year.

    Currently, no pesticide is registered in California to treat this specific pest. Luis Magdaleno, a pest control advisor at Munselle Vineyards and a grape grower in Geyserville, California, highlighted the high cost of treating pests. He noted that developing and registering new pesticides would increase the operational costs for vineyards, adding another burden to the industry.

    In light of the spotted lanternfly threat, CAWG is urging winemakers to intensify monitoring and take all possible preventive measures. Early detection and eradication of eggs and larvae can help control the pest population before it becomes a significant issue. Winemakers are also advised to be ready for rapid response and collaboration with plant protection experts and local authorities.

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