December 5, 2019
New Pierce's Disease Resistant Winegrape Varieties Released
UC Davis has announced the official release of five new Pierce’s disease resistant grapevine varieties developed in Dr. Andrew Walker’s grape breeding program – a milestone achievement. The red winegrape varieties are camminare noir, paseante noir and errante noir. The white winegrape varieties are ambulo blanc and caminante blanc. All are U.S. plant patent pending. The development of these varieties was funded in part by the Pierce’s Disease and Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter Board.

Government Relations Report

In April, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (board) held a public hearing on a proposed regulation to create lighting standards for Outdoor Agricultural Operations During Hours of Darkness. CAWG staff testified that the regulation was vague and created a standard that, if strictly enforced, would likely end nighttime ag work. This is because it could require excessive lighting that would be illegal in some parts of California and would be cost prohibitive in most of the state.

Several weeks ago, a modified regulation was released. That proposal resolved no ambiguity and created a new requirement that outdoor area lighting be measured at “approximately 30 inches above the floor.” Growers quickly engaged and voiced serious concerns. Dozens of growers contacted the board seeking a clear regulation that is both practicable and protects workers. 

Your advocacy made a difference. This week the board released a newly modified regulation that addresses many grower concerns. 

While not yet perfect, the regulation is much improved. The regulation no longer requires area lighting (light towers) and also makes it clear that illumination levels are measured for “task lighting.” This helps resolve the concern that lighting is required only when and where the work is being performed.

CAWG staff is working with other ag organizations in reviewing the proposed regulation. Initially, it appears that your voices were heard, and as currently proposed, the regulation would no longer bring about an end to night ag work. 

Thank you for your engagement. We will report back shortly with a more detailed analysis.   

- Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995
Podcast: Smoke Taint in Wine
A new podcast from the Vineyard Team features Eric Herve of ETS Laboratories and Matt Brain of Crimson Wine Group and Chamisal Vineyards. They discuss how winemakers can screen grapes for the risk of smoke impact and work to mitigate its effects. Herve covers how impactful these compounds are at parts per billion levels, the markers they are researching to test smoke exposure, blending considerations and much more.

> PODCAST (32 minutes)
USMCA Update
The House is scheduled to be in session until Dec. 20, but supporters hope the USMCA will be voted on well before that date. Farmers for Free Trade is putting on the pressure by writing a letter to Congressional leaders and launching a radio and digital ad campaign – both highlighting that farmers and ag businesses need a win right now. “Each day without action on USMCA is another day of uncertainty for American farmers and our rural communities,” states the letter, which was sent on behalf of 2,200 small farmers.

> LA TIMES ARTICLE (Democrats see USMCA trade deal near, urge Mexico to accept compromise / Dec. 5)
Takeaways from NGRA/USDA-ARS Sensor Technology Workshop
The National Grape Research Alliance and USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) hosted the  NGRA-ARS Sensor Technology Workshop in November in Sacramento. Thirty scientists shared their insights with nearly 150 attendees. NGRA President Donnell Brown shared highlights from the workshop in the organization's November e-newsletter

Membership Renewal Reminder
Thank you for your continued support in ensuring a strong unified voice for the winegrape industry. The CAWG membership year is Dec. 1, 2019 to Nov. 30, 2020. Dues are $4.75 per acre and minimum grower dues are $250 a year for 52.6 acres or less. If you did not receive your renewal, please contact CAWG Manager of Member Relations Natalie Collins at .

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 .
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CALL 916-379-8995.
Crop Insurance 101
If you were not able to participate in the Dec. 4 webinar about the federal crop insurance program, please click here for the recording.

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.

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.

Employment Law Changes in 2020
WHEN : Jan. 7 / 10 - 11 a.m.
PRESENTER: Brandon K. Kahoush, attorney at law with Fisher & Phillips, LLP.
ABOUT: Learn more about employment law-related legislation that has recently taken effect or will take effect January 2020 and how it will affect your operation and how to prepare for compliance.

State Water Project Allocation Set at 10 Percent
The Department of Water Resources announced an initial water allocation of 10 percent (427,167 acre-feet of water) for State Water Project contractors for the 2020 calendar year. The allocation will likely change depending on rain and snowfall amounts this winter. Dec. 1 allocations in the past six years were 10 percent for 2019, 15 percent for 2018, 20 percent for 2017, 10 percent for 2016 and 2015, and 5 percent for 2014 (due to the drought).

California Reservoir and Drought Conditions; State is Abnormally Dry

>The latest reservoir conditions map shows most major reservoirs above historical average mark.

>Current drought monitor map (released Dec. 5). A summary states that despite recent significant precipitation, much of California was left in D0 (abnormal dryness) after consultation with the state drought monitoring team. While the precipitation has helped improve conditions, water year-to-date deficits remain.

Public Policy Institute of California, Nov. 19

Thompson has served in the House since 1999.
Press release, Nov. 25

The EPM program was designed to train the next generation of environmental professionals.
UC Davis, Dec. 5

Jeff O'Neill Announced as Keynote Speaker
Jeff O'Neill, CEO and founder of O’Neill Vintners & Distillers, will deliver the keynote address on Tuesday, Feb. 4 (separate registration / $75 for CAWG members). O'Neill is the former CEO of Golden State Vintners and a third-generation member of a California winemaking family with industry roots dating back to 1934. O’Neill Vintners has grown to become the seventh largest winery in California and has earned a reputation as one of the premier commercial wine producers in the business.

Save the Date!
University of California Grape Day
WHEN: Jan. 21 (registration will open on Jan. 4)
WHERE: UC Davis Conference Center, 550 Alumni Lane, Davis
TOPICS: Rootstock and germplasm evaluation, methods to mitigate heat wave damages, crop load management, grapevine crop evapotranspiration calculation and irrigation scheduling, and updates on vineyard sensing and mechanization projects.