Your source for CAWG and industry news
June 30, 2016      

July 7
Webinar: NRCS/USDA Programs for Winegrape Growers

July 13
Webinar: Vineyard Tax Benefits
July 14
Webinar: Night Harvest Illumination

July 20
CAWG PAC Golf Tournament and  5th Annual Awards of Excellence Program & Dinner, Monterey 
July 21
CAWG Summer Conference, Speaker Program and Annual Business Meeting, Monterey
July 22
CAWG Board of Directors Meeting, Monterey

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Summer Conference Three Weeks Away
Join Us in Monterey! Register TODAY!

The CAWG Summer Conference features an outstanding lineup of educational sessions, golf and the association's annual Awards of Excellence program. The Portola Hotel and Spa in Monterey is an excellent venue to learn and network with fellow growers - and to  escape the summer heat!
The conference starts with the CAWG PAC golf tournament on Wednesday, July 21, followed that evening by CAWG's Award of Excellence reception and dinner. The program on Thursday, July 22 features three outstanding sessions:
Session 1 / 8:45 - 10:15 a.m.
Achieving Quality in the Mechanized Vineyard: Now and in the Future
Session 2 / 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Protecting the Newly Established Vineyard from Viruses
Session 3 / 1:30 - 2:45 p.m.
Wine Market Update and Trends
For more details regarding the Summer Conference content, please visit the CAWG website.


Reminder: July 1 Deadline to Participate in Piece-Rate Safe Harbor Protection

The Department of Industrial Relations is reminding employers of the JULY 1 DEADLINE to notify them of their intention to make back payments to piece-rate workers in exchange for relief from statutory penalties and other damages. AB 1513, signed into law by Gov. Brown in 2015, established pay requirements for piece-rate workers for mandated rest and recovery breaks and other nonproductive time. The new law also provides a short window of time for employers to make back wage payments to piece-rate workers for rest and recovery breaks and other nonproductive time in exchange for penalty relief provisions. For employers that are participating, the back payments are required for the time period of July 1, 2012 through Dec. 31, 2015, and must be paid no later than Dec. 15, 2016. Employers must notify DIR of their decision by Friday, July 1 by completing the  online notification form .

CAWG Staff, Member Featured in Piece-Rate Article

CAWG Director of Government Relations Tyler Blackney and CAWG member Brad Goehring were quoted extensively in a June 23 Wines & Vines article about AB 1513. Said Blackney, "This new piece-rate legislation is going to result in a number of our growers paying a substantial amount to avoid liability. Some are facing six-figure payments. That is a lot of money. Moving forward, piece rate is going to be used less frequently, because growers are not going to want to face the future liability for doing it wrong. It's a shame because workers prefer piece rate: It provides them an option to maximize their profits over a shorter period of time." Said Goehring, "If piece rate becomes too onerous, farmers aren't going to do it. With the advent of the new regulations, it's too cumbersome to comply. I know a lot have stopped doing piece rate."

Reactions from Agricultural Leaders on Supreme Court Immigration Case Ruling

In a 4-4 decision, the Supreme Court on June 23 blocked President Obama's immigration plan that would protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation and allow them to legally work in the United States. The deadlock will effectively uphold a lower court ruling, which blocked the Obama Administration's expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the creation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA). Agricultural leaders issued statements following the ruling.
Western Growers Association President and CEO Tom Nassif:
"We believe our nation's immigration policies should be determined by the legislative branch of our federal government. We also recognize that Congress has abdicated its duty to reform our broken immigration system, which is why we understand the motivation of the Obama Administration. However, neither DAPA, DACA, nor any other executive order will adequately address the long-term immigration challenges facing our country. In light of this ruling, we urge the administration and all members of Congress to reflect on their responsibilities to the American public and renew the immigration reform debate in earnest. Congress should bring forth a comprehensive immigration reform plan that considers agriculture's unique needs. Any reform measure should include provisions granting legal status to existing farmworkers and one that creates a new, more workable and market-oriented visa program to ensure a future flow of labor."

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack: 
"Despite a split Supreme Court decision on immigration, USDA continues to stand with farmworkers and farming families to remain strong and resilient. Once again, we look to Congress to do its job and fix our broken immigration system to allow families to remain together, to ensure our economy is strong and growing, and American agriculture is able to reach its fullest potential."

2015 Monterey County Crop Report Shows Decline in Sales of Winegrapes

Winegrapes were the eighth top multi-million dollar crop in Monterey County last year, according to the annual county crop report . Total sales of winegrapes declined about 25 percent in 2015, to $185.9 million, after above average production years. Chardonnay was the top white grape variety (17,044 harvested acres; 64,100 tons; $81.4 million total value), followed by riesling (1,908 harvested acres; 6,600 tons; $6.5 million) and pinot gris (1,302 harvested acres; 4,360 tons; $6.1 million). Pinot noir was the top red grape variety (8,345 harvested acres; 20,400 tons, $38.5 million), followed by merlot (5,195 harvested acres; 13,300 tons, $15.6 million) and cabernet sauvignon (4,536 harvested acres; 11,200 tons, $14.7 million ).  Kim Stemler, executive director of the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association, is quoted in an article about the statistics and the winegrape crop. 

2015 Lake County Crop Report: Winegrapes Lead the Way

Thanks to an increase in the value of the winegrape and pear industries, the gross value of Lake County agriculture was a record $101 million - an increase of 9 percent over 2014 - according to the annual county crop report . The gross value of the county's grape crop was $63 million, a 7 percent increase over 2014. Top winegrape varieties were cabernet sauvignon (14,428 tons crushed; $31.1 million), sauvignon blanc (11,640 tons crushed; $13 million) and petite sirah (2,191 tons crushed; $3.9 million). Lake County grows 32 winegrape varieties.


CalRecycle Offers Grants for Farm and Ranch Solid Waste Cleanup and Abatement

The Department of Resources Recycling and Recover (CalRecycle) administers the Farm and Ranch Solid Waste Cleanup and Abatement Grant Program, which provides up to $1 million annually in grants for the cleanup of illegal solid waste sites on farm or ranch property. Private property owners must make a request for application submission to the city, county or resource conservation district in which their property is located.


Dr. Carl Winter gave the keynote presentation at the ASEV national meeting in Monterey. His presentation - "Arsenic in Wine: A Scientific Perspective" - dispelled the idea that these compounds in wine pose a human health risk. 

Guest column by Kevin Merrill. Santa Maria Times, June 28

Smith was honored by the Grower-Shipper Association. Perishable News, June 28

Lodi grower is growing Argentina's most popular white winegrape. Stockton Record, June 28

More Than $47 Million in Investments for Water Conservation and Drought Response

USDA and the Department of the Interior announced more than $47 million in investments to help water districts and producers on private working lands better conserve water resources. The funds include $15 million in USDA funds and $32.6 million from the Bureau of Reclamation for local projects to improve water and energy efficiency and provide a strengthened federal response to ongoing and potential drought across 13 states in the West. "As drought continues across the west, our farmers and ranchers are stepping up to the plate to partner with communities and strengthen efficiency to better conserve our water supply," said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Water Articles and Resources

In a new study,  Stanford researchers have found that drought-ravaged California is sitting on top of a vast and previously unrecognized water resource, in the form of deep groundwater. Washington Post, June 27
In 2014, California voters passed a $7.5 billion water bond - nearly 80 percent of which has now been appropriated. Here's a look at where that money is going, and which key areas are yet to have funds awarded. Water Deeply, June 24

CAWG PAC Event at Balletto Vineyards & Winery - Thank You!

Thank you to all of the members who came out to support our CAWG PAC last night. It was a great evening and fundraiser! 

Balletto Vineyards & Winery
Jackson Family Wines
Walsh Vineyards Management
Vino Farms
Agro K / Ag Unlimited
Cakebread Cellars 
Crop Production Services 
Dutton Ranch Corp.
Goehring Vineyards, Inc.  
Napa Wine Company 
Pauli Ranch
Phillips Family Farming, LLC
Redwood Empire Vineyard Management, Inc.  
Sangiacomo Family Vineyads 
Slater Farms, Inc.

Upcoming CAWG Webinars

CAWG logo no words
More details about each webinar is posted on the CAWG website.

JULY 7 / 10-11 a.m.
NRCS / USDA Programs for Winegrape Growers
Presented by  Erik Beardsley, a program specialist with NRCS/USDA
>>Learn about programs available through NRCS and USDA that may assess and treat agricultural impacts on natural resources and enhance conservation achievements, as well as meet regulatory requirements.
JULY 13 / 10-11 a.m.
Vineyard Tax Benefits
Presented by David Sinclair and Robert Murphy of Frank, Rimerman + Co. LLP 
>>Learn about recent legislative updates that will have an impact on vineyard income tax returns.
JULY  14  / 10-11 a.m.
Night Harvest and Illumination
Presented by Angelina Ceja (MPA, QAL) of AgSafe
>>Learn about night harvest and illumination requirements and safety procedures.
Recording of FSMA - Produce Safety Rule Webinar 

Protecting Grapes from Pests by Boosting Their Natural Immunity
A new study reports that shining short-wavelength ultraviolet light (UV-C) on grapes right before harvest boosts levels of the fruits' own disease-fighting compounds, which could reduce the need for pesticides. The study appears in the June issue of American Chemical Society's "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry."

Factors Influencing Yield Management of Pinot Noir Vineyards in Oregon
Preliminary data from research conducted by Oregon State University suggest that pinot noir vines can ripen greater yields than currently targeted by the industry standard. The study - published in the June issue of the "Journal of Extension" - was conducted to investigate how vineyard target yields are set, why yield thresholds exist, and who influences decisions related to vineyard target yields. Growers suspect that higher yields are possible without compromising quality, but they are unable to change yield targets due to winery and buyer decision making. 

CDFA Webinar on Climate Smart Agriculture 

This free webinar will feature discussions and presentations addressing salinity in specialty crops within California's Central Valley and along coastal areas.
Hosted by: CDFA and Ministry of Economic Affairs in the Netherlands

When: July 7, 9-11 a.m.

Where: live (1220 N Street, main auditorium, Sacramento) or via webinar

FREE CSWA Workshops and Webinars 

Using Sustainable Practices to Navigate Risks

JULY 12 / 9 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.
Tallman Hotel, Upper Lake
This workshop will cover: sustainable practices that help mitigate risks, including energy and water use efficiency, carbon sequestration strategies, IPM, fire preparedness, crop insurance and more.

Webinars on Sustainability Self-assessment and Certification

JUNE 28 / 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

JULY 27 / 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. 

AUG. 9 /  10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.