Your source for CAWG and industry news
December 14, 2017
CALENDAR

January 23-25, 2018
Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, Sacramento

February 21-22, 2018
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Temecula 

April 4, 2018
CAWG Winegrape Day in the Capitol, Sacramento

April 4, 2018
CAWG Foundation Wine Reception, Sacramento

April 5, 2018
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Sacramento

 
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THE FRONT PAGE 
Congressional Republicans Reach Agreement on Federal Tax Bill
 
House and Senate Republican leaders reached an agreement Wednesday on a comprehensive overhaul of the nation's tax laws. They plan to unveil a final bill that combines both plans on Friday, with the goal of voting on it early next week and delivering it to President Trump for signing before Dec. 25. Following the agreement, Trump and several taxpayers delivered remarks at the White House about the legislation.
 
In the December issue of The Crush, hitting mailboxes soon, Cornerstone Government Affairs highlights the tax reform legislation - corporate tax rate, taxation of pass-through business income, federal estate tax and more.  
 



Government Relations Capitol Report
 
RECALLS AND RESIGNATIONS CHIP AWAY AT SUPERMAJORITY IN SACRAMENTO

A supermajority vote (two-thirds of all legislators) is required to pass a tax increase or urgent legislation. The current legislative session began with Democrats holding tremendous power with a supermajority in the Senate and Assembly. However, that supermajority did not last in the Assembly and may not continue in the Senate.  
 
Democrats currently hold 53 seats in the Assembly (one short of a supermajority) and 27 seats in the Senate (a supermajority). However, if even one Senate Democrat leaves office, the Democrats will no longer hold a   supermajority. 
 
With the various resignations, recalls and potential recalls, it is likely that neither house will see a Democrat super majority that will continue through the end of the 2017-18 legislative session. This means that passing a tax increase or urgent legislation will require bipartisan support. In an election year, that will be very difficult.
 
-- Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / 916-379-8995

 
Farm Bill Landing Page Launched
 
The 2018 Farm Bill website, unveiled on Dec. 13 by the House Agriculture Committee, is a new online resource that features facts, updates, blog posts and other information about the farm bill. "We've spent the past three years preparing - holding 113 hearings and six listening sessions around the country," said Michael Conaway, House Ag Committee chair. "We're working on getting the policy right and will use this site as a resource as we advance the next farm bill." The committee has also been posting #FarmBillFriday videos to educate people about the importance of the farm bill.
 

 
INDUSTRY ARTICLES

VINEYARDS & WINE

In California wine regions, farming changes are being made to deal with local climate-change problems that will affect the industry. One thing many growers now are saying privately is that some wines may change in style.
Press Democrat, Dec. 12
 
Game-changing and stylish, grapes like albariƱo, cinsault, grenache blanc and teroldego are getting well-deserved attention in Lodi.
Wine Enthusiast, Dec. 7

WILDFIRES

Winemakers around the world are wary about a threat that is growing along with the frequency of wildfires: smoke taint. Scientists from Australia and Canada are conducting research regarding smoke taint.
National Public Radio, Dec. 13
 
Experts: Clear debris from waterways, assess burned trees and fix drainage systems.
Wines & Vines, Dec. 12

The disaster write-off is a little-known tax deduction allowing people to claim uninsured losses caused by disasters. The House tax bill eliminates the deduction, while the Senate version allows people to take the deduction only if the president declares a federal disaster.
Los Angeles Times, Dec. 10


WATER NEWS
Saving Water in California Vineyards Using Satellite Technology
 
Precision agriculture techniques developed by researchers at the Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory (USDA-ARS) could potentially save water across more than 1 million acres of vineyards in California. Researchers are currently working with E. & J. Gallo Winery and plan to share the techniques with other vineyard operators. Their work involves improving computer models to help Gallo determine how much water to apply in specific areas of the vineyard and when to apply it. The models use data collected by satellites that measure land surface temperature, which provides information about soil and vine moisture levels and rates of water use or evapotranspiration.
 


New Resource: California Water Library
 
The California Water Library provides a resource for current California water issues. It is an extensive database of water reports, articles and research - all free to the public. The website was designed to provide easy, organized access to published documents about California water so that people can access the information needed to make informed decisions. A project of Maven's Notebook, the library is sponsored by government agencies, water and irrigation districts, and other entities.
 


Water Articles and Resources

Residents, farmers, businesses and municipal governments have filed nearly 500 claims - including a single $1 billion claim - with the state in the months after the Oroville crisis.
Sacramento Bee, Dec. 13
 
Op-ed by farmer Rich Collins. Our leaders could be missing a great opportunity to support sustainable agricultural solutions to climate change unless they provide at least a modest sum for critically important sustainable agriculture programs.
Sacramento Bee, Dec. 9

Daily reservoir storage conditions - Dec. 6 report
 

RESOURCES
Check Out The California Weather Blog
 
Whether you're a weather geek or simply want to learn more about our state's weather and its impact, read The California Weather Blog by Daniel Swain , a post-doctoral climate scientist at UCLA. Swain  provides unique, real-time perspectives on California weather, climate and regional environmental change. He writes new blog posts every 1-3 weeks and posts frequently on
Facebook and Twitter . You can view photos, graphs, weather models and research - and learn cool weather terms like "ridiculously resilient ridge." His Oct. 19 blog focused on the wind-driven wine country fires.
 


Report: Cap-and-Trade Extension - Issues for Legislative Oversight
 
T he Legislative Analyst's Office this week released a report that provides information on cap-and-trade and the recent extension to 2030, identifies key administrative implementation decisions that could affect program outcomes, identifies potential opportunities to increase the effectiveness of a new advisory committee, and describes potential state cap-and-trade revenue scenarios through 2030.
 


UNIVERSITIES
Agricultural and Resource Economics Update Nov/Dec Issue 
 
Korean Free Trade Agreement Renegotiation: California Agriculture Has Much to Lose 
Current renegotiations, while focused on industrial products, could place California agricultural exports at risk. 
 
Whither NAFTA? Agriculture, Autos and Migration 
Written by UC Davis economist and ag labor expert Philip Martin.  Negotiations to revise NAFTA began in August 2017, raising questions about two of the sectors most affected by freer trade, agriculture and autos, as well as the future of Mexico-U.S. migration.  
 


UNIFIED WINE & GRAPE SYMPOSIUM

Unified is the Place to be Next Month! Register TODAY!



Gina Gallo, senior director of winemaking at E. & J. Gallo Winery and a third-generation winemaker. Register now before it sells out! 
 
Daily/hourly program.
 
Don't miss out - several valuable opportunities at various levels are still available. Visit the Unified website or discuss with Jenny Devine at (916) 379-8995.
 
CAWG members must register by Jan. 16 to receive a $200 discount. To register by phone, call 888-559-9530. If you need your Unified code, contact CAWG a 916-379-8995.


UPCOMING EVENTS
Ag Safe: Ag Laws and Regulations for Growers and Farm Labor Contractors
Ag Safe is offering classes covering a dozen topics that will be held in Fresno, Paso Robles, Monterey and Oxnard in the coming months. English and Spanish classes. Cost is $240 for members/$270 for non-members.