The ballots for continuing the Pierce's disease assessment are in, and the winner is...


By an overwhelming margin of 84 percent, California grape growers voted to continue the assessment to fund research for another five years, according to a news release.


The grower-funded program also has been expanded to include other pests that pose an area-wide or state-wide threat to the grape industry.


The California Department of Food and Agriculture sent ballots to about 6,300 grape-growing entities in the state in late March.


To be certified, at least 40 percent of recipients had to return ballots.


Of those, at least 65 percent moore had to vote in favor of the measure. And those 65 percent had to represent a majority of the assessment paid in 2009.


Or the measure could pass if a majority voted in favor of the assessment, and they represented 65 percent or more of the assessment paid in 2009.


For more information on the Pierce's Disease/Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter Program, click here.