November 19, 2020
CAWG will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 26 and Friday, Nov. 27. CAWG eNews will return on Thursday, Dec. 3. CAWG staff wishes you a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones. We extend our sincere gratitude to all of our members whose support and active participation make CAWG an outstanding organization representing winegrape growers. Cheers!

Bipartisan 2020 WHIP+ Reauthorization Act to Help Winegrape Growers
The 2020 WHIP+ Reauthorization Act was introduced today by a bipartisan group of lawmakers from West Coast states impacted by wildfires. If passed, the bill would reactivate the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) for 2020 natural disasters, including wildfires. The WHIP program offers critical assistance to growers, including those whose winegrapes were impacted by smoke exposure. Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Napa) led the effort, along with original co-authors Reps. Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley), Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) and Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.).

CAWG is grateful for the strong support from Reps. Thompson, Panetta and Lee, who are ensuring winegrape growers get disaster aid to recover from this year’s wildfire-related impacts.

Government Relations Report
We all know of the personal and economic devastation caused by the tragic wildfires this summer. The ag community has been hit especially hard. Winegrape growers in almost every part of the state have had to deal with smoke and more tragic consequences as well.   
This week the Assembly Committee on Agriculture held a hearing titled “The Impact of Wildfires on California’s Agriculture.” The committee heard from a variety of panelists who discussed several issues, including insurance, land management, evacuations, losses, crops serving as a firebreak, and much more.   
Sonoma County Winegrowers President Karissa Kruse (CAWG board member) testified at the hearing and discussed how winegrape growers were impacted. She identified lessons learned from wine country fires in 2017 and policies and procedures that are in place today as a result. Kruse provided data and information about Sonoma growers and farmworker families. She also specifically highlighted the need for increased testing capacity for growers dealing with smoke-exposed grapes. Kruse’s testimony begins at the 1:28:00 mark in the video
We expect the California Legislature to take on various issues related to wildfires. This includes the availability of insurance, safety protocols for accessing ag land during an evacuation, standards for workers exposed to wildfires smoke and others.   

Late today the Occupational Health and Safety Standards Board (board) approved an emergency regulation to provide workplace standards intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The regulation was released for public comment a week ago, and is being rushed through the process. The regulation may take effect as early as Nov. 30 and would have a significant impact on growers.   
In short, the regulation establishes extraordinary new restrictions and unprecedented burdens that threaten the ability of affected businesses to continue operations. Below are a few key issues covered by the regulation:  

  • New requirements for reporting COVID-19 cases and COVID-19 exposure. 
  • New requirements for housing which will reduce occupancy of shared housing and limit use of Housing for the Harvest. 
  • New requirements for transportation that will reduce capacity of vehicles and make employers responsible for transportation provided through a third party, such as Cal Vans. 
  • New requirements for 14 days of job protection and full wages for employees who test positive for COVID-19 or are exposed to COVID-19. 
This regulation is beyond the scope of authority of the board and CAWG is working through an ag coalition (read letter) and a business coalition (read letter) to fix this regulation or keep this from becoming law. We will continue pursuing several approaches to protect against adoption of an unworkable regulation.

-Michael Miiller / / (916) 204-0485
Supreme Court to Hear CA Case on Unions Entering Farm Property
The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 13 agreed to hear a case – Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid – that challenges a 45-year-old California law allowing labor union representatives to access private ag workplaces to speak to farmworkers. The law “forces agricultural businesses to allow labor organizers onto their property three times a day for 120 days each year,” according to the case summary/question presented to the Supreme Court. Pacific Legal Foundation is representing the plaintiffs.


>ARTICLE (Supreme Court agrees to hear California grower's challenge to state farm labor law, North Bay Business Journal)
Tehachapi Mountains is California’s Newest AVA
The TTB today announced the establishment the approximately 58,000-acre Tehachapi Mountains AVA in Kern County, effective Dec. 21, 2020. It does not lie within, or contain, any other AVA. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) issued a press release, stating it is “welcome news for our community, which has been working to establish the Tehachapi Mountains AVA for several years and is something I have strongly supported and urged the administration to finalize.”

PD/GWSS Board Update on Nursery Programs
Nursery Stock Approved Treatment Program (ATP):
From Jan. 1 to Sept. 30, there were 8,593 ATP shipments, consisting of approximately 2.14 million plants. No regulatory actions have been taken against any ATP nurseries for viable life stages this year.

Nursery Regulatory Program:
From Jan. 1 to Sept. 30, there were 31,932 nursery stock shipments to noninfested areas of the state. Origin county inspectors have stopped six GWSS adults, six nymphs and 48 egg masses from moving in nursery stock shipments. Almost all nursery shipments (99.98%) have been free of GWSS during destination inspections. Five enforcement actions (notices of rejection) were issued by receiving counties due to a viable life stage of GWSS found in incoming nursery stock shipments.

>PD/GWSS HIGHLIGHTS (November e-blast)
Podcast: Spotted Lanternfly – Threat to California
The Vineyard Team’s Nov. 19 podcast features Dr. Heather Leach, extension associate with the Penn State University Department of Entomology. Leach is focused on researching the spotted lanternfly (SLF) and educating the public on how to manage the destructive pest. Her webpage features numerous resources and articles on SLF.

>PODCAST (28 minutes)
Food, Ag, Environmental Groups Collaborate on Climate Policy Recommendations
The Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance (FACA) this week presented 40 policy recommendations that promote shared climate policy priorities and guide climate legislation. FACA includes American Farm Bureau Federation, FMI–The Food Industry Association, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Farmers Union, National Alliance of Forest Owners, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, Environmental Defense Fund and The Nature Conservancy. The recommendations are based on three principles: ag and forestry climate policies must be built upon voluntary, incentive-based programs and market-driven opportunities; promote resilience and adaptation in rural communities; and be science-based.

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.
State Issues Limited Stay at Home Order to Slow Spread of COVID-19
From CDFA Secretary Karen Ross to ag stakeholders:
This afternoon, Dr. Ghaly is announcing a limited stay at home order that goes into effect Saturday, Nov. 21 and remain until Dec. 21. This limited stay at home order will restrict nonessential work, movement and gatherings, following the March stay at home order, but limited to the hours of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in counties in the purple tierAs a reminder, work in the food and agriculture industry is determined essential work. Employers need to be prepared to ensure that employees who work in nighttime shifts have documentation like they did at the beginning of COVID. 

Resources and Articles
California’s tier assignments: Tier map
>NOV. 16 DATA:
Minimal (yellow) = 2
Moderate (orange) = 4
Substantial (red) = 11
Widespread (purple) = 41 (94.1% of CA population)

>NOV. 10 DATA:
Minimal (yellow) = 6
Moderate (orange) = 18
Substantial (red) = 22
Widespread (purple) = 12

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

Presented to the Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment, Nov. 17

Data and tier assignments are updated weekly.
The Crush – November Issue

The Crush is now available in digital format (the PDF was emailed earlier this week). With the digital version, links will appear briefly in yellow highlight when you flip the pages. >READ
Grapes – Federal Multi-Peril Crop Insurance

WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 1 / 10-11 a.m.
PRESENTERS: Greg Merrill and Kristine Fox with Pan American Insurance Services.
ABOUT: Learn more about the MPCI to insure and protect your winegrape production.

California Winegrowers Cultivate Healthy Soils

WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 3 / 9-10 a.m.
PRESENTER: Dr. Kerri Steenwerth, USDA-ARS; Julien Gervreau, Jackson Family Wines; Aaron Lange, LangeTwins Family Winery & Vineyards; and Steve Matthiasson, Matthiasson Wines.
ABOUT: Learn about the latest soil research and hear how the state’s winegrape growers are implementing practices that improve vine health, increase water infiltration and retention, sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gases, improve water and air quality, and improve biological diversity of wildlife habitat. 

2021 Changes in Employment Law

WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 3 / 10-11 a.m.
PRESENTERS: Brandon Kahoush and Collin Cook with Fisher Phillips, LLP and CAWG Director of Government Relations Michael Miiller.
ABOUT: A roundup of state labor legislation, guidelines and regulations that recently took effect or will take effect in January 2021. Learn how these changes may apply to your operation and how best to comply.

Grape Whole Farm Revenue Protection – Revenue Losses

WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 8 / 10-11 a.m.
PRESENTER: Kristine Fox with Pan American Insurance Services.
ABOUT: Learn more about whole-farm revenue protection to insure and protect your farming revenue.

EPA Funds Pesticide Safety Training for Farmworkers
Pesticide training providers in California will receive grant funding to help with occupational health and pesticide safety training for farmworkers. The U.S. EPA is providing up to $500,000 annually to the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs (AFOP) to educate pesticide applicators, handlers and farmworkers on working safely with, and around, pesticides. "Together with EPA, we touch real lives by empowering agricultural workers with the knowledge they need to better protect themselves, their homes, and their families from pesticide exposure," AFOP Executive Director Daniel Sheehan said. EPA’s press release lists the participating pesticide training providers in California.

November issue

November issue

November 2020

The eight-page report includes brief regional reports from Amador County, Calaveras County, El Dorado County, Lake County, Livermore Valley, Lodi, Madera County, Mendocino County, Monterey County, Napa Valley, Paso Robles, San Diego County, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz Mountains, Sonoma County and Temecula.

Session Schedule, Details Now Posted

The full program is now available.

CAWG member discount codes have been emailed and mailed. Please call the office if you did not receive your code. 

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