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Pathogen threats loom large as funding flows to Salinas Valley lettuce research

Source: Agri-Pulse

“It is critical to our state's economy as well as our overall national security” to safeguard California’s crops, said [Agriculture] Committee Chair Asm. Robert Rivas, who represents the Salinas Valley.

Two scourges that sometimes appear together but have not been definitively linked to each other continue to threaten lettuce: Pythium wilt and Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus (INSV). The state budget allocated $1 million in new research funding aimed at developing more strategies to effectively protect the major crop. In addition, the California Leafy Greens Research Program received three grant proposals in December and will be reviewing them and voting on funding on Jan. 25, according to the program’s Jennifer Clarke.

In 2020, California’s lettuce crop was worth more than $2 billion and growers planted 80,000 acres.