November 14, 2019
CAWG Honors Outgoing Chair, Directors

CAWG members and staff last week gathered to celebrate our outgoing chair and directors. Visit our Facebook page to see photos from the special event.

  • Bill Berryhill, BB Vineyards, Clements

  • Michael Boer, Stipp Ranch, Ukiah
  • Diego Olagaray, Olagaray Brothers, Lodi
  • Bruce Phillips, Vine Hill Ranch, Yountville
  • Brian Shepard, Walsh Vineyards Management, Napa

CAWG Elects New Officers, Directors

CAWG is pleased to announce our new officer team and new and re-elected board members.

  • Chair: Mike Testa, Coastal Vineyard Care, Buellton
  • Vice chair: Tom Slater, Slater Farms, Clarksburg
  • Vice chair: Davindar Mahil, Creekside Farming, Madera
  • Secretary: Jeff Bitter, Madera
  • Treasurer: Gregg Hibbits, Mesa Vineyard Management, Templeton

  • John Balletto, Balletto Vineyards, Santa Rosa
  • Joel Maring, J. Maring Farms, Patterson
  • Jeff Bitter, Madera

  • David Beckstoffer, Beckstoffer Vineyards, Napa
  • Chris Lynch, Walsh Vineyards Management, Napa
  • Michael Manna, Manna Ranch, Inc., Acampo 
  • Karissa Kruse, Sonoma County Winegrowers
  • Kim Stemler, Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association 
Government Relations Report
The spotted lanternfly is a pest that is deadly to grapevines. To obtain enough nitrogen, the spotted lanternfly consumes large quantities of phloem. Excess fluid and sugar are then excreted as honeydew. The honeydew collects on anything below the feeding site and promotes the growth of sooty mold, which inhibits photosynthesis if it is on plant tissue. A Pennsylvania vineyard reported 90 percent crop loss due to the pest.
This week, the Pierce’s Disease/Glassy-winged Sharpshooter Board received a spotted lanternfly update. The pest is currently widespread in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia and West Virginia. Specimens were also found in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York. Additionally, 11 dead spotted lanternflies were discovered during cargo inspections this year in three California airports. The flights were from Allentown, Penn. and the flies likely died in transit. 
The pest feeds on 70 species of trees and fruits, including grapes. The tree of heaven is a common host, making disturbed areas and transportation corridors (including rail yards) the frequent home for the spotted lanternfly. Ag areas having high suitability for the spotted lanternfly include California coastal areas and central valley. Consequently, entomologists contend that the spotted lanternfly will eventually spread to California in the form of egg masses on rail cars or other forms of goods movement. Egg masses may be hard to detect as they often look like accumulated mud.
The following information about spotted lanternfly is available on the CAWG website (resources tab):

  • PDF: Spotted Lanternfly / Dr. Kyle Beuke, CDFA
  • PDF: Recommended Best Management Practices Preventing Spread of Spotted Lanternfly for the Wine and Vineyard Industry

The California Legislature sometimes passes legislation where the constitutionality of the new law is questionable or where the new law may be preempted by federal law, making the state law unenforceable. When this occurs, that new law is likely headed straight to court. This week, two such suits were filed challenging new California laws.
AB 5 (Gonzalez, D-San Diego)  redefines employment in a manner that changes many traditional independent contractors into employees. The California Trucking Association is challenging AB 5 stating the legislation limits the ability of independent truck drivers to be owner operators.  The truckers’ lawsuit  argues that California has no authority to regulate in this arena due to the commerce and supremacy clauses in the U.S. Constitution. Truckers by the nature of their work participate in interstate commerce.
SB 826 (Jackson, D-Santa Barbara)  was signed into law in 2018 and requires increased numbers of women in corporate boardrooms. This is becoming an issue now as SB 826 requires publicly held corporations to have a minimum of one female on its board of directors by the end of the year.  Pacific Legal Foundation has filed suit  contending in part that SB 826 creates an unconstitutional gender-based quota requirement.
Various industries may also challenge AB 5 and SB 826 for other reasons. For example, freelance writers have publicly argued that AB 5 limits their constitutional right to free speech. Additionally, other new laws will likely be headed to court soon, including a  law prohibiting mandatory arbitration in employment contracts . Stay tuned.  

- Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995
USMCA Update: Pelosi Wants Deal Passed This Year
Cornerstone Government Affairs reported earlier this week that Congress will have a two-week work period before the Thanksgiving holiday, and members of the USMCA working group will continue meetings this week with hopes of making significant progress on the agreement.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) today in her weekly briefing said, “We are moving positively in terms of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement. It all comes down to enforcement. I do believe that if we can get this to the place it needs to be, which is imminent, that this can be a template for future trade agreements. A good template.” She also added, “I’d like to get it done this year. That would be my goal.”

> PELOSI BRIEFING (go to 3:40 mark and 16:10 mark)
Bogle Vineyards Named 2019 American Winery of the Year
Congratulations to Bogle Vineyards (CAWG member) on being named the 2019 American Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast. The magazine wrote, “Bogle Vineyards has garnered great respect from both the industry and the state’s grape growers that keep them in good supply.” The business is being honored “for its role in advancing the quality, affordability and sustainability of California wines.”

The Wine Star Awards gala will be held Jan. 27, 2020 at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. For event inquires or to attend, contact Jen Cortellini at .
EPA Seeks Members for Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee
Interested in serving on a federal advisory committee? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking up to 30 members for its Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee (FRRCC). Ideally, the majority of members will be actively engaged in farming or ranching. The FRRCC aims to provide policy advice, information and recommendations to the EPA administrator on various environmental issues and policies that are important to agriculture and rural communities. Members will be appointed for two- or three-year terms. Nominations are due Dec. 31.

Zaninovich Tapped to Chair PD Advisory Task Force
CDFA Secretary Karen Ross has appointed Judy Zaninovich, a longtime member of the Pierce’s Disease Advisory Task Force, to serve as its chairperson. Zaninovich is a treatment coordinator for the Glassy-winged Sharpshooter Area-wide Management Program and the Kern County Asian citrus psyllid/HLB grower liaison for the Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program.

Spread the Word! CAWG Foundation Now Accepting 2020 Scholarship Applications
For more than 20 years, the CAWG Foundation has awarded thousands of dollars annually in college scholarships to students whose parent or legal guardian is employed by a California winegrape grower. The four-year scholarships are $8,000 each for students attending a University of California or California State University campus. The two-year scholarships are $2,000 each for students attending a California community college. The Robert Miller Scholarship for Viticulture and Enology is awarded to a Central Coast student who is enrolled or will enroll at Allan Hancock College or Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. The application deadline is March 6, 2020.

Providing creative, integrated solutions for our beverage and agricultural industry partners with quality packaging products and supply chain services
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.
CALL 916-379-8995.

2019 Tax Update
WHEN: Nov. 19 / 10 - 11 a.m.
WHERE : San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation, 3290 N. Ad Art Rd, Stockton
ABOUT: Join CAWG and the San Joaquin Farm Bureau for a seminar discussing updates to the 2019 tax laws and what they mean to you and your operation.
  • Tax structure
  • Compensation between family members
  • Estate taxes
COST: Free to members of CAWG and the San Joaquin Farm Bureau. Non-members: $20

Crop Insurance 101
WHEN : Dec. 4 / 10 - 11 a.m.
PRESENTER: Kristine Fox, Pan American Insurance Services
ABOUT: An important part of your 2020 planning process is risk management of your most valuable asset -- your crop. Learn more about the federal crop insurance program to insure and protect your winegrape production.
  • What’s covered, what’s not?
  • How do I sign up?
  • How do I file a claim?
  • Can I insure to my winery contract price?
  • How much is really subsidized?

Crop Insurance 102: Fires, Floods and Other Natural Disasters
WHEN: Dec. 11 / 10 - 11 a.m.
PRESENTER: Kristine Fox, Pan American Insurance Services
ABOUT: Following the Crop Insurance 101 webinar, learn more about claims involving smoke, flood and wildlife damage.
  • The ins and outs of fire damaged fruit
  • What's covered and what's not?
  • What if a winery rejects your fruit?
  • What kind of testing needs to be done?
  • What if you are unable to harvest due to surrounding fires?
  • Flood damage and when to file a claim
  • Other disasters resulting in crop damage

Whole-Farm Revenue Protection, Protect Against Market Losses
WHEN : Dec. 18 / 10 - 11 a.m.
PRESENTER : Kristine Fox, Pan American Insurance Services
ABOUT: Want to protect your crop against price and market losses? Learn more about whole farm revenue protection and if it’s right for you.
  • Insuring your farm revenue for yield and market losses
  • How WFRP can close the gap between the true contract price and the price paid under the typical multi-peril crop insurance policy
  • How crop diversification increases the policy subsidy, reducing the premium a grower pays. Diversification can be met by having red grapes and white grapes.
  • Information needed to proceed with a quote and coverage
USDA Releases 2018 Irrigation and Water Management Survey
USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service this week released its  2018 Irrigation and Water Management Survey , which provides up-to-date information on irrigation activities and water use and management across U.S. farms, ranches and horticultural operations.

There were 42,093 farms with 8.4 million irrigated acres, which included 24.5 million acre-feet of water applied in California, according to the 200+ page report. 
GAO Releases Report on Irrigated Ag, Water Scarcity
A new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) provides an overview of irrigation technologies and on-farm water conservation practices, factors influencing the adoption of these technologies, and implications of their use for water scarcity. California is mentioned dozens of times in the publication (download PDF and search California). The GAO report recommends two options for federal policymakers to consider: 1) promote the use of more efficient irrigation technology and practices and 2) promote the use of precision ag technologies.

> HIGHLIGHTS (two pages)

Winegrape industry hits period of oversupply, lower prices.
Good Fruit Grower, Nov. 14

California wine industry members interviewed.
Associated Press, Nov. 14

New record of cosponsors follows industry “day of action.”
Wine Institute, Nov. 5
The California Trucking Association has filed a federal lawsuit challenging a state new.
Sacramento Bee, Nov. 12

The countries’ ag secretaries conversed about the USMCA during a recent U.S. delegation visit to Mexico.
USDA radio, Nov. 8

Venture Beat, Nov. 4

Press release, Oct. 23

Sponsorship and Ad Opportunities
Promoting your brand at the 2020 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium is a BIG opportunity you should take advantage of!

Registration and Housing

CAWG members receive up to a $200 discount (per employee) on their Unified registration. Call the CAWG office at 916-379-8995 if you need your discount code.

Grape, Nut & Tree Fruit Expo - Fresno
Nov. 19 / 7 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Advanced Manufacturing in Agriculture Regional Workforce Advisory Meeting
Nov. 22 / 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. / Woodland

Current Issues in Vineyard Health
WHEN: Dec. 3 / 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
WHERE: UC Davis Conference Center, 550 Alumni Lane, Davis