June 25, 2020
CAWG COVID-19 Resources Webpage
Please visit our resources webpage (updated frequently) for all of our COVID-19 news alerts; state, federal and ag industry resources; webinar recordings; county orders and more.
CA Winegrape Growers Could Suffer $437M in Lost Sales this Fall Due to COVID-19; USDA Assistance Needed
CAWG today issued a press release about an economic analysis prepared by Jon Moramarco, managing partner of bw166 and editor of the Gomberg-Fredrikson Report. According to his analysis, California winegrape growers could suffer at least $437 million in lost sales from this year’s grape harvest due to COVID-19 related economic disruptions. Increased sales of wine at off-premise retailers will not offset lost wine sales via on-premise channels and direct from wineries to consumers through wine clubs and tasting rooms. The press release includes quotes from CAWG President John Aguirre and CAWG Chair Mike Testa.

New State Budget, COVID-19 and Family Leave
The 2020-21 state budget was passed by the California Legislature on June 15. Gov. Newsom has until June 30 to act on the spending plan. The governor was not happy with the budget approved by the Legislature and negotiated changes to the budget to resolve his concerns.

For example, the governor sought and obtained the authority to  withhold federal COVID-19 relief funding  for counties that are not complying with federal and state COVID-19 guidelines, including mandatory face coverings. In the last few months, some sheriffs – including Sonoma and Sacramento counties – have said they will not enforce guidelines and health orders. The new budget deal will allow the governor to withhold funding to those counties.

The budget deal also includes a historic expansion of the California Family Rights Act.  SB 1383  (Jackson, D-Santa Barbara) would require all employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for family care and medical leave. Current law requires this for employers with 50 or more employees. For those employers with 50 or more employees, SB 1383 would provide for half a year of protected leave for their employees.

SB 1383 does not impact the budget in any way. Nonetheless, the governor and legislative leaders are pushing for the Legislature to include this in the budget deal, which is due on June 30. CAWG is part of a broad coalition representing several industries in opposition to SB 1383.

> ARTICLE : New job killer bill would devastate small employers in California (CalChamber, June 25)

-Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / (916) 204-0485
Economic Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on CA Agriculture
A new 64-page study – commissioned by seven California ag groups and prepared by ERA Economics – estimates that the direct economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on California agriculture is estimated between $5.9 and $8.6 billion this year. The study looks at 15 ag sectors; the grapes (wine, table, raisin) analysis begins on page 41. The report concludes, “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on California’s wine industry will continue to evolve over the coming months as consumers adjust purchases, the export market adjusts, and the current year California crop is harvested.”

COVID-19 Hauling Considerations for Harvest
WHEN:  Tuesday, July 7 / 10-11 a.m.
PRESENTERS:  CAWG and G3’s ag hauling team
DETAILS:  Hear from transportation experts about best practice measures to ensure the safety of all parties and that winegrapes are picked up and delivered in the safest, most efficient manner. This guidance may be a great communication tool when coordinating with your trucking provider.

COVID-19 Harvest Protocols
WHEN:  Tuesday, July 7 / 1-2:30 p.m.
PRESENTERS:  Cook Collin of Fisher & Phillips LLP and David Sarvadi and Manesh Rath of Keller & Heckman LLP.
HOSTS:  CAWG, Wine Institute and California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA)
DETAILS:  California law requires employers to update their Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Based on health and safety guidance from government agencies, Wine Institute, CAWG and CSWA developed protocols in a workbook format to help vineyards and wineries update their IIPP for harvest activities. Health and safety experts will discuss the protocols.

CFF COVID-19 Forums
The California Farmworker Foundation is offering forums (in-person and via Zoom) to help farm labor contractors navigate COVID-19. The forums will provide information and resources that can be shared with their employees. 

> FLYER (English) / > FLYER (Spanish)

June 30 / 10-11:30 a.m. 
Meeting ID: 858 8160 0869 / Password: 818353

June 30 / 12-1:30 p.m.
Meeting ID: 824 9281 4746 / Password: 429030
Related Articles and Resources
Government Relations Report
The California Department of Food and Agriculture on June 23 announced the Pierce’s Disease/Glassy-winged Sharpshooter (PD/GWSS) referendum, conducted over the last two months, passed with   78 percent approval of California winegrape growers.
“It is heartening to know that California’s winegrape growers continue to see value in the joint effort that we’ve built together with the assessment,” CDFA Secretary Karen Ross said. “Our growers know and understand the importance of research, and – just as importantly – they recognize the value of their ongoing investment in this exemplary partnership between industry and government.”
PD/GWSS Board Chair Domonic Rossini (Fratello Farming, Denair) said, “In these trying times, we appreciate the support of the industry in passing this referendum. The PD/GWSS Board is always focused on growers’ best interests and ensuring our industry has the best research at its back to protect California vineyards from pests and diseases.”

The Pierce's Disease Control Program is focused on research, outreach and related activities on PD, GWSS and other designated pests and diseases of winegrapes.

The program will be up for referendum renewal again in five years.

-Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / (916) 204-0485
Senate Ag Committee Hearing on Growing Climate Solutions Act
The full Senate Ag Committee yesterday held a hearing on the bipartisan Growing Climate Solutions Act , which would create a USDA certification program to help farmers generate carbon credits through climate smart ag practices. American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall testified, “The Growing Climate Solutions Act seeks to provide more clarity and guidance for those farmers and ranchers who want to provide the ecosystem services that many consumers and businesses are desiring. This builds upon American agriculture’s strong foundation of environmental stewardship.”

New Grape Varieties Approved for Designating American Wine
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has administratively approved the use of the two new grape variety names: mourtaou (as a synonym for cabernet pfeffer) and treixadura. Wine bottlers can use these names, as well as  other names granted administrative approval , to label American wines pending TTB’s next rulemaking. Click here to view all grape variety names approved for use in designating American wines.
Ten UCCE Advisors Retiring on July 1
Ten University of California Cooperative Extension farm advisors – all of whom have decades of experience – are retiring on July 1. Several of the retirees have specialized in viticulture or worked on vineyard-related issues during their careers, including Rachel Elkins, Lake and Mendocino counties; Kurt Hembree, Fresno County; Glenn McGourty, Mendocino County; John Roncoroni, Napa County; Rhonda Smith, Sonoma County; and Beth Grafton-Caldwell.

With over 30 harvests, the G3 Ag Team has deep experience in winegrape hauling. Our operational expertise and agile planning combine to provide responsive service for wineries and grape growers large and small. Click on image to view video.
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New Standard for Outdoor Ag Operations During Hours of Darkness
Nearly 200 people participated in this webinar, which 1) reviewed compliance issues and their significance for all ag night work and 2) explained the new requirements for task lighting, high-visibility garments, and other aspects of night work safety and how they apply to your operations.

Monterey County: Winegrapes Drop to No. 8
Winegrapes were the eighth top crop in Monterey County in 2019 with a crop value of $186 million, down significantly from $247.8 million in 2018. Total tons equaled 132,000, down from 180,000 in 2018. Top white grape varieties by value: Chardonnay (16,926 acres; 43,800 tons; $58.7 million total value), pinot gris (1,246 acres; 5,980 tons; $7.18 million) and sauvignon blanc (1,071 acres; 3,660 tons; $4.36 million). Top red grape varieties by value: Pinot noir (10,386 acres; 35,100 tons; $65.99 million), cabernet sauvignon (4,927 acres; 14,900 tons; $19.97 million) and merlot (4,219 acres; 6,090 tons; $5.97 million).

Marin County: Winegrapes Up 12 Percent
The winegrape crop in Marin County may be small, but the value keeps increasing. The 2019 crop was 406 total tons valued at $1.37 million (up from 2018 stats of 382 total tons and $1.22 million). Acreage remained the same at 195. The crop report mentions that in 2019, a total of 1,253 shipments were inspected for GWSS, with no viable egg masses or live finds.

Farm Groups Launch Free Stress Management Course
USDA’s Cooperative Extension system, Farm Credit, American Farm Bureau Federation and National Farmers Union have collaborated to offer a new online training course that aims to help farmers and their families identify and cope with stress. Participants will learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of stress, effectively communicate with people under stress, reduce the stigma related to mental health concerns, and connect farmers and ranchers with resources.
Report Pesticide Incidents Anonymously with DPR's Mobile App
CASPIR (California’s System for Pesticide Incident Reporting) , a free mobile app developed by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, allows farmers and farmworkers to quickly and anonymously report pesticide incidents and concerns 24/7. The bilingual app can be downloaded on Apple iTunes or Google Play.


John Aguirre, Michael Miiller and Tony Stephen are quoted.
Western Farm Press, June 24

UC Riverside’s Mark Hoddle is using a $500,000 grant to test a natural predator of the pest.
Western Farm Press, June 24

In new research, UC Davis viticulture researchers propose a novel model of sex evolution before and during grapevine domestication nearly 8,000 years ago. Their work could have broad application in breeding grapes and other plant species.
Science Daily, June 18

CAWG Annual Meeting Goes Virtual!
We hope you'll join us on Thursday, July 16 at 10 a.m. for CAWG's 46th Annual Business Meeting. This will be a great opportunity to hear from CAWG's leadership and an exciting lineup of industry speakers, to be announced in the coming week.
16 / CAWG 46th Annual Meeting - ONLINE
20 / CAWG Regional & Board of Directors dinner, Santa Rosa - CANCELED
21 / CAWG Board of Directors meeting - ONLINE