Your source for CAWG and industry news
December 21, 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 CAWG office will be closed Dec. 25-26 and Jan. 1-2. CAWG eNews will take a holiday hiatus next week and will return on Jan. 4.  CAWG staff wishes you and your families a wonderful, festive and safe holiday season. Thank you to all of the CAWG members for your support this year. Cheers!!


THE FRONT PAGE 
Tax Bill Passes - What Does it Mean for Agriculture?
 
T he sweeping $1.5 trillion tax bill is now headed to President Trump's desk for his signature. Early Wednesday morning, the Senate voted 51-48 in favor of the bill. In a do-over vote on Wednesday afternoon, the House approved the bill 224-201. Twelve House Republicans voted against the bill and all Democrats in the House and Senate voted against it. Trump praised the legislation, calling it a "big, beautiful tax cut for Christmas." Democrats were united in opposition.
 
ON FARMERS
President Trump: "It makes the vast majority of family farms and small businesses exempt from the estate tax. The estate tax was killing the farmers. They were forced to sell farms at bargain-basement prices. They don't have to do that anymore."
 
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue: " I know that the hard-working, tax-paying people of American agriculture need relief. Most family farms are run as small businesses, and they should be able to keep more of what they earn to reinvest in their operations and take care of their families."  
 
The White House and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) have provided detailed breakdowns of the legislation. AFBF's article includes a chart comparing 17 elements of the new bill with current law.
 
 


Government Relations Capitol Report
 
WILDFIRE LEGISLATION
As the wildfires continue to burn in Southern California, the California State Legislature is exploring legislation to deal with lessons learned from this year's historic fires.
 
Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) has announced his Wildfire Safety and Recovery Act. The proposed act would prevent insurance companies from dropping customers following a wildfire disaster. Lara will also require insurance companies to offer discounts and continued coverage to homeowners who make investments in wildfire safety (i.e. creating a defensible space). Lara does not represent areas that were directly impacted by the fires. However, he is a candidate for insurance commissioner.
 
Legislators that represent the North Bay wine country, which experienced historic fires in October, are rumored to be coming together to pursue legislation to address deficiencies in the Wireless Emergency Alerts system. You may recognize this as the screech your cellphone makes when an Amber Alert has been issued. This FEMA system unfortunately was not used to alert Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino residents of the approaching fire in October. 
 
The state Legislature will take up these fire-related measures, and probably more, when the 2017-18 session resumes in January.
 
-- Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / 916-379-8995

 
$81B Emergency Disaster Aid Package Introduced
 
A federal bill to provide additional emergency assistance for the recent wildfires, hurricanes and related agriculture losses was introduced this week by House Appropriations chair Rodney Frelinghuysen. H.R. 4667
totals $81 billion, and targets funds to programs to continue relief and recovery efforts in California, Florida, Texas and other affected states and territories. Among the proposed funding is $27.6 billion to FEMA for disaster response and recovery efforts, $26.1 billion for community development block grants, and $3.8 billion to USDA for agriculture assistance (disaster recovery due to wildfires, hurricanes and crop loss).
 


Report: EPA Says Glyphosate Not Likely Carcinogenic to People
 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stated this week that glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup, is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans. In a draft human health risk assessment, the agency "found no other meaningful risks to human health when the product is used according to the pesticide label." According to EPA, its scientific findings are consistent with the conclusions of science reviews by other countries and the   2017 National Institute of Health Agricultural Health Survey

On July 7, 2017 glyphosate was added to California's list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer, which meant products such as Roundup would have to be sold with a Prop 65 warning.
 
 

CSWA Elects 2018 Officers, Welcomes New Board Member
 
The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) has announced the election of its 2018 officers: Steve Lohr, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, chair; Aaron Lange, LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards, vice chair; Keith Horn, Constellation Brands, secretary; and Mike Boer, Stipp Ranch, treasurer. Kathryn Walt Hall, of Hall Wines and Walt Wines, was appointed to the CSWA board in December.  CSWA was created by CAWG and Wine Institute to promote the benefits of sustainable winegrowing practices, enlist industry commitment and assist in implementation of the Sustainable Winegrowing Program.
 

California Heritage Club Seeks Applicants
 
Has your operation been in business in California for 100 years or longer? The California Agriculture Heritage Club is a prestigious group of families and businesses that are descendants of pioneer ranches, farms and agribusiness of early California, and have shown dedication to preserving agriculture's heritage and moving the industry forward. The club's purpose is to recognize those that have maintained a financial responsibility in agriculture for at least 100 years. Inductees and members will be honored on July 18, 2018 at a special breakfast and award presentation.
 


RESOURCES
Free Webcast: 2017 Wine Industry Financial Benchmarking Report - An Overview
 
T his webcast will summarize key findings from Moss & Adams' 2017 Wine Industry Financial Benchmarking Report , published with Turrentine Brokerage, American AgCredit and Heffernan Insurance Brokers.  Topics to be covered in the webcast include general industry trends , s ales and production data, s hort- and long-term strategies, and planned investments.
 
WHEN: Jan. 17, 2018 / 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. PST



GIS Mapping Services for Vineyard Efficiency
 
Visualizing your data spatially can often help improve your decision-making in the vineyard. Geographic information systems (GIS) mapping can provide you with vineyard data essential to planning, propagating and harvesting. From analyzing vine vigor and soil types, to assessing frost hazards and basic block layouts, GIS mapping is a great tool for many tasks. In addition to GIS mapping, high-quality board room maps are a unique way in which you can display your vineyard in your winery or office.  
 
If you are insured with Pan American Insurance Agency, partnered with NAU Country, these GIS services are offered complimentary to their clients. If you are not insured with Pan American, talk to your crop insurance agent to see if they offer the GIS services you need to assist with vineyard management.


Standard Mileages Rates Increase in 2018
 
The Internal Revenue Service has issued the 2018 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2018, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be 54.5 cents for every mile of business travel driven, up 1 cent from the rate for 2017.
 
 

UNIVERSITIES
Study by Cal Poly, Hancock College Shows Positive Perception of Local Wine Industry
 
Residents of San Luis Obispo County look favorably upon their growing local appellations, including the Edna Valley AVA and Arroyo Grande Valley AVA, according to a recent collaborative study between Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria. The study was conducted by Dr. Marianne McGarry Wolf, professor of wine business at Cal Poly, and Dr. Alfredo Koch, professor of agribusiness at Allan Hancock College. "It appears that residents have embraced the wine industry as part of the local image," Wolf said.


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.
 


Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention in Indoor Places of Employment
The Division of Occupational Safety and Health is convening an advisory meeting to develop a proposed regulation for minimizing heat-related illness among workers in indoor places of employment.   Stakeholders and the public will be able to provide input on a revised discussion draft developed in consideration of the comments received on the draft discussed at the May 2017 meeting.
 
WHEN: Feb. 8, 2018 / 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
WHERE: 1515 Clay St. (2nd floor, room 1), Oakland