October 29, 2020
CDFA Testing Lab Accepting More Winegrape Samples
CDFA’s Center for Analytical Chemistry (CAC) is available to test more winegrape samples for the presence of smoke compounds due to recent wildfires. The CAC has tested 140 winegrape samples since early October, when it began accepting them to help commercial labs reduce testing turnaround times for growers. CAC’s turnaround time is 3-5 days. The lab will measure seven smoke-related compounds (guaiacol, 4-methylguaiacol, o-cresol, p-cresol, m-cresol, syringol, and 4-methylsyringol). To submit samples ($246 each), visit the CAC website for instructions or contact CDFA at (916) 228-6844 or CDFA.CAC_receiving@cdfa.ca.gov.

Wildfire & Smoke Exposure Information

CA Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC): New webpage provides FAQs and contact information for licensees impacted by wildfires. 

Wine Business: Numerous articles

Wine Industry Advisor: Afternoon Brief (daily)

Since 2015, California’s famous wine region has been stuck in a cycle of burning and rebuilding, the area's bounty of opportunity colliding with rising danger and inequity.
San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 29
Government Relations Report
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is considering proposed mitigation measures for use of nitroguanidine-substituted neonicotinoid (NGN) insecticides in agricultural crops. The proposed mitigation measure could have a detrimental effect on control of sharpshooters and Pierce’s disease, vine mealybug and leafhoppers.   
This is because the mitigation measures would limit growers to one application of NGNs annually. This restriction could allow for infestations and the spread of disease. 
In recent months there has been an alarming increase in the population of glassy-winged sharpshooters (GWSS). Biweekly trap results from the end of June through mid-September in Kern and Tulare counties have shown an increase in GWSS of more than 700 percent compared to lowest past years and more than 400 percent compared to highest past years. The availability of NGNs and immediate application is crucial to making sure that California doesn’t face an infestation. 
CAWG is working with other wine and ag organizations to make DPR aware of the importance of NGNs to winegrape growers and the potentially severe consequences of the proposed mitigation measures. Currently, DPR has not established a timeline for consideration and potential adoption of the proposed mitigation measures. CAWG will update growers as things develop. 

When Joe Biden picked U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) as his running mate, a dozen or more California politicians immediately fancied themselves a U.S. Senate hopeful. If the Biden-Harris ticket prevails, Gov. Newsom will appoint a new senator to serve out the remainder of Harris’s term. Harris was elected in 2016, so the person appointed to fill the seat would face re-election in November 2022.    
Insiders think the list of potential senators is realistically only a handful of hopefuls. This is because in choosing a new senator, Newsom will be (among other factors) pressured to consider that Harris is currently the only African American woman in the Senate, reminded that California has never seen a Latino serve in the Senate, and told by advocates that no openly gay person has ever served in the Senate. With these historic considerations, below are a few potential frontrunners:  
  • State Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), the first openly lesbian leader of both the Senate and the Assembly, is respected as a pragmatic leader.   
  • Secretary of State Alex Padilla (Los Angeles), a longtime Newsom supporter, is a respected elections officer and former legislator. 
  • Former Speaker of the Assembly and current Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles), head of the Congressional Black Caucus, is nationally known as she made Biden’s VP short list.   
We should know in the next few weeks whether Newsom will have a seat to fill.

-Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / (916) 204-0485

Election Resources
Visit the California Secretary of State website for voting and candidate information, election results and more. 

For California results, consider the following:
  • The first results on election night will likely be ballots received before Election Day.
  • Ballots will be counted throughout the night.
  • It will take 30 days to count all valid ballots. 

No on Proposition 15

Family Farmers Against Prop 15: Website features video and radio ads

No on Prop 15: Website (CAWG is a coalition member)

Cal Chamber, Oct. 23

Ten-page detailed report on financial impact of Proposition 15 in SLO County.
First-Ever Wines Made From PD-Resistant Winegrape Varieties
Two recently-released wines – 2019 Camminare Noir and 2019 Paseante Noir – are the first to use experimental grape varieties that are highly resistant to Pierce's disease. The varieties were among the five new Pierce’s disease resistant grapevine varieties developed in Dr. Andrew Walker’s UC Davis winegrape breeding program. Development of these varieties was funded in part by the Pierce’s Disease and Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter Board.

EPA Announces Final Rule on Application Exclusion Zone Requirements
One year after releasing proposed updates to pesticide application exclusion zone (AEZ) requirements, the U.S. EPA today announced its final rule. The agency stated that the targeted changes would “improve the enforceability and workability of the AEZ requirements, decrease regulatory burdens for farmers and maintain critical worker protections.” The changes include:

  • AEZ requirements only apply within the boundaries of the ag establishment, removing off-farm responsibilities that were difficult for state regulators to enforce.
  • Immediate family members of farm owners are now exempted from all aspects of AEZ requirements. Farm owners and their immediate family are now able to shelter in place inside closed buildings, giving them flexibility to decide whether to stay on-site during pesticide applications.
  • New clarifying language has been added so that pesticide applications that are suspended due to individuals entering an AEZ may be resumed after those individuals have left the AEZ.
  • Simplified criteria to determine whether pesticide applications are subject to the 25- or 100-foot AEZ.

USTR, USDA Release Report on Ag Trade Between US and China
The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and USDA last week issued a report highlighting the progress in implementing the ag provisions in the U.S.-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement. Highlights:

  • China has purchased approximately 71 percent of its target for 2020. The country has purchased $23.6 billion in ag products so far this year (substantially more than the base year of 2017).
  • China has implemented 50 of the 57 commitments that have specific deadlines under chapter three of the phase one agreement (which contains concrete, specific commitments to reduce and eliminate structural, non-tariff barriers to U.S. agriculture in China’s market).

Former CAWG Chair Heidi Scheid Named 2020 Person of the Year
Congratulations to Heidi Scheid, executive vice president of Scheid Family Wines (CAWG member), on being named 2020 Wine Person of the Year by Wine Enthusiast. The magazine honored her for her “dedication to responsible growth, consumer health and employee safety.” 

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 or here to view video.
CAWG's preferred partner for insurance products for more than 20 years. Group workers' comp, wine industry package, federal crop insurance, employee benefits and more. For more information: 209-955-2600 or email.
Providing the very best California crop insurance services.
CFAP 2 Deadline is Dec. 11
Applications are due Dec. 11 for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2), the second round of funding that provides ag producers with financial assistance to help with increased marketing costs associated with COVID-19. Since opening on Sept. 21, CFAP 2 has provided $7.6 billion in funding, with a total of $14 billion available. Winegrapes were added to the CFAP 2 list after not being included on the CFAP 1 list.

CFAP 2 payments as of Oct. 29: For all categories, California ranked No. 7 with $375 million; for the sales commodities category only, California ranked No. 1 with $232.8 million. >DATA DASHBOARD

Those who need one-on-one support with the application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee. This is a recommended first step before contacting the FSA county office at your local USDA Service Center.
Resources and Articles

California Department of Public Health: COVID-19 statistics and resources (updated daily)

California’s tier assignments: Tier map – As of Oct. 27, 10 counties are in yellow (minimal), 17 in orange (moderate), 22 in red (substantial) and nine in purple (widespread).     

Data and tier assignments are updated every Tuesday.
"After the year we have had, the Unified Symposium is more important than ever," CAWG President John Aguirre said in an Oct. 26 press release. "The 2021 Unified will feature leading experts and convene people from all parts of the industry to deliver outstanding, insightful program sessions. Anyone who wants to understand how to successfully navigate the challenges and opportunities confronting our industry should register for Unified."

Unified reshuffles program to prioritize wildfire smoke discussion.

Opens on Nov. 3 at 9 a.m. PDT. CAWG member discount codes will be made available soon. Codes will be emailed and mailed. 

Unified is offering various sponsorship and advertising opportunities with its new virtual conference environment.

Water Partnerships Between Cities and Farms in Southern California and SJV
Report summary: Partnerships between Southern California cities and San Joaquin Valley farms could help alleviate groundwater overdraft in the valley while building drought resilience in Southern California. This report explores solutions that could benefit both regions. By diversifying water supplies, building connections to share water more flexibly, and preparing for the extreme events to come, such partnerships would support Gov. Newsom’s Water Resilience Portfolio.

Merced County
The total value of winegrapes in 2019 was $59.7 million, up from $51.1 million in 2018. Production statistics: 13,157 harvested acres (13,434 in 2018); 149,932 tons (129,956 in 2018); $398 per ton ($393 in 2018). Winegrapes were ranked No. 12 on the county’s top commodities. 

Malcolm Media 2020 Virtual Expos

Nov. 6 / Central Coast Grape Expo
  • CAWG member employees presenting: Jeff Bitter (AGG) and Todd Azevedo (Ciatti Company) / “State of the Central Coast Grape Industry” / 12:45 to 1:45 p.m.

Nov. 10-11 / Tree & Vine Expo
  • CAWG staff and member employees presenting on Nov. 11: Johnny Leonardo (Ciatti Company) / “State of the Winegrape Industry” / 12:45 to 1:15 p.m. Michael Miiller (CAWG) / “Ag Legislative Update” / 1:15-1:45 p.m.

Nov. 12-13 / Grape, Nut & Tree Expo
  • CAWG member employee presenting on Nov. 13: Jeff Bitter / “State of the Wine & Concentrate Grape Industry” / 12:15 to 12:45 p.m.


3 / Unified registration opens at 9 a.m. PDT

12 / CAWG board of directors meeting (virtual)