“There’s a lot of benefit that growers receive from getting statistical information,” said Doug Phillips, president and owner of Phillips Farms Marketing, Visalia, Calif.
The research function will be missed, especially if bacterial canker that has hit kiwifruit orchards in other countries spreads to the U.S., he said.
“We won’t have any research or an organization to combat it,” Fagundes said.
Even if USDA permits growers to vote on expanding the Kiwifruit Administrative Committee, a referendum still is about 18 months away, he said.
Doug Wilson, president and owner of Wil-Ker-Son Ranch and Packing Co., Gridley, Calif., blamed grower apathy for the demise of the commission.