Winegrape growers across California have passed a referendum to continue assessing themselves for critical research on Pierce's Disease .

"Anytime a measure passes with almost 90% of folks marking their ballots with a yes vote, you know voters are deeply concerned," said Jim Richards of Paloma Vineyards and Chair of Family Winemakers of California. "I voted yes. I asked my friends in the business to do so as well. Paying an assessment on my grapes for another five years is a small price to pay to find an answer on how to deal with Pierce's Disease and the Glassy-winged sharpshooter."

According to results released by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), 54.9% of 7,425 eligible growers cast ballots, well surpassing the 40% threshold required for the election to be valid. Of those voting, 89.7% voted in favour and those weighted votes, based on assessed value, amounted to 90.1% of the assessment paid in 2004.

The Pierce's Disease Control Program within the CDFA will continue until March 2011.