The California Table Grape Commission (CTGC) has been awarded two additional years of funding through the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops grant program.
The grant totals $288,000.
The new dollars will help fund continued research to develop phytosanitary treatments to eliminate pests of concern for export markets.
“Invasive species can pose a serious threat to crops,” said Kathleen Nave, CTGC president.
“Treatments developed through this research will help ensure that if there is a pest problem, the export of California table grapes will continue uninterrupted.”
California table grape growers produce 99 percent of the U.S.-grown commercial crop. The crop value exceeds $1 billion with a volume of more than 110 million boxes.
Approximately 40 percent of the California table grape crop is exported to more than 60 countries worldwide.
Franka Gabler, the CTGC’s viticulture research director, says the research goal is to identify effective postharvest treatments which do not compromise table grape quality, treatments which are compatible with standard industry practices, and do not require significant investment to adapt existing infrastructure for implementation.
“Evaluating the impact of each postharvest technique on table grape quality and shelf life is an integral component of the project,” Gabler said.
“Affordability and compatibility with current infrastructure is a crucial component for the table grape industry for the implementation of any new technology.”