February 13, 2020
2019 Preliminary Grape Crush Report
The 2019 Preliminary Grape Crush Report was released on Monday. The 2019 crush  (winegrapes only)  was 3,890,253 tons, down 9.1 percent from the 2018 crush of 4,281,112 tons. Red wine varieties accounted for the largest share of all grapes crushed, at 2,135,112 tons, down 12.8 percent from 2018. The 2019 white wine variety crush totaled 1,755,141 tons, down 4.3 percent from 2018. Average prices for the 2019 crop by type: red winegrapes, $990.07 per ton, down 2.9 percent from 2018, and white winegrapes, $580.66 per ton, down 8.6 percent from 2018. In 2019, chardonnay continued to account for the largest percentage of the total crush volume with 15.6 percent. Cabernet sauvignon was second with 14.1 percent. 

Results Released from CA Grower Survey on PD/GWSS
Hundreds of winegrape growers participated in the Pierce’s Disease/Glassy-winged Sharpshooter (PD/GWSS) survey that was conducted in November and December 2019. The 18 questions focused on PD and GWSS in vineyards, as well as research, programs and outreach by the PD/GWSS Board. The survey results, released at the end of January, help determine how to keep winegrape growers informed about PD, GWSS and other designated pests and diseases. Surveyed growers state the program has been effective in research and in addressing PD/GWSS and other pest and disease threats of winegrapes.

The feature story in the February issue of The Crush (to be emailed early next week) highlights the upcoming PD assessment referendum and PD/GWSS Board achievements.
Government Relations Report
Pesticide use in California is tightly controlled by federal, state and local agencies. The current enforcement structure gives wide latitude to impose criminal and civil penalties commensurate with the violation, classification and intent.
AB 1919 (Bauer-Kahan, D-Contra Costa)  would expand on this law and give the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) new authority to impose fines of up to $25,000 per violation for even unintentional and minor violations.
These violations include those that are committed in multiple jurisdictions; that are not appropriate for enforcement by a county ag commissioner; or, that involve a priority investigation involving human or environmental health effects, as defined in the  2005 Cooperative Agreement  between U.S. EPA, DPR and county ag commissioners.
Such priority investigations involve serious violations that can be prosecuted criminally or through existing fines. While the bill is targeted at serious and flagrant violations, under this new authority, a one-time unintentional violation where no one was harmed, but 30 people were on site, could result in a fine of $750,000.
It is important to keep in mind that millions of individual applications occur each year, yet there are less than 10 priority agricultural violations annually. So, the need for this bill is not clear. Nonetheless, groups like  Pesticide Action Network  are pushing for this legislation. 

-Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / 916-379-8995
House Passes Bill to Help Protect Ag Industry from Invasive Species, Other Pests
The bipartisan Protecting America’s Food & Agriculture Act of 2019 ( S. 2107 / H.R. 4482 ) passed the House on Feb. 10 and now heads to the president’s desk for his signature. The bill addresses the shortage of ag inspectors and would ensure the safe and secure trade of ag goods across the nation’s borders. The bill authorizes U.S. Customs and Border Protection to hire, train and assign 240 new ag specialists each year until the workforce shortage is filled, 200 ag technicians each year and the training of new K-9 teams. “Our farms and crops are under increasing threats from invasive pests and diseases,”  said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).  “That’s why agricultural inspections at our borders are critically important to food safety and the protection of our farmers and consumers.” The legislation – supported by a broad coalition of ag and other groups – was introduced in July 2019 and passed by the Senate in October.

PG&E Unveils 2020 Wildfire Mitigation Plan, Including Power Shutoff Changes
PG&E last week submitted its  2020 Wildfire Mitigation Plan  to the California Public Utilities Commission. The plan provides information about PG&E’s  Community Wildfire Safety Program  that addresses the growing threat of extreme weather and wildfires across its service area. The plan will continue key safety work, such as new grid technology, hardening of the electric system, accelerated inspections of electric infrastructure, enhanced vegetation management around power lines, and real-time monitoring and situational awareness tools to better understand how severe weather can impact PG&E's system. Changes will also be made to reduce the impact of Public Safety Power Shutoffs on customers.
Be Engaged with CAWG's Advocacy Efforts!

WE NEED YOU FOR GRASSROOTS LOBBYING:  We want a strong turnout of CAWG members for Day in the Capitol – an important opportunity to meet with key legislators and other decision-makers to discuss current issues or bills that have an impact on your business. 

SUPPORT SCHOLARSHIPS :  In the evening, join CAWG members, legislators and special guests for a reception at 1121 L Street (lobby). Enjoy excellent food from Brasserie Capitale and fabulous California wine, while supporting the children of winegrape grower employees. The event will include food and wine pairing stations, music, silent auction and raffle, and a brief program.

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.
Research & Development Tax Credit for Agriculture
WHEN : Feb. 26 / 10 - 11 a.m.
PRESENTER:  Reed Showalter, technical director at alliantgroup
ABOUT:   Learn about the research and development tax credit and why it applies to you, the latest changes to the tax code from the IRS, and how you can qualify for these exciting credits and incentives.

  • The basics of R&D tax credit
  • What qualifies for the R&D credit
  • How much you could be saving by claiming the R&D tax credit
  • How to claim the R&D credit

DWR Seeks Comments on Groundwater Sustainability Plans
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is accepting public comments on the groundwater sustainability plans that were submitted last month. A list of submitted alternatives is also available. The public comment period runs through April 15. Instructions on submitting comments are available in English and Spanish .

Allied Grape Growers President Jeff Bitter interviewed.
ABC30-Fresno, Feb. 12

Napa Valley Register, Feb. 11

ASEV’s Dan Howard and CAWG President John Aguirre quoted.
Western Farm Press, Feb. 7

Microsatellites made for orbit have ag applications.
Good Fruit Grower, Feb. 5

Wine was on the list of products that saw export values falling. Exports have picked up in the last three months.
USDA radio, Feb. 11

Stephen Censky spoke at the EconAlliance Ag Forum in Santa Maria.
Santa Ynez Valley News, Feb. 6

AgNet West, Feb. 5

Sacramento Bee, Feb. 11

Advanced Grapevine Irrigation Scheduling and Management Workshop
WHEN: March 4
WHEN: UC Davis Activities and Rec Center ballroom

Registration opens on Feb. 14. Workshop features internationally renowned scientists from Italy, Chile and UC Davis who will deliver applicable information to vineyard owners, irrigation managers, water purveyors, irrigation district managers and winemakers.

CSWA Sustainable Winegrowing and Certification Webinar
WHEN: Feb. 25, March 10 & 18 / 10-11:30 a.m.

Free webinar to learn about the California Sustainable Winegrowing Program, how to complete a self-assessment using the online portal, and steps required to become Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing. 


18 / CAWG Day in the Capitol , Sacramento
18 / CAWG Foundation Gala , Sacramento
19 / CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Sacramento 

12 / CAWG Annual Meeting Roadshow #1, Buellton
13 / CAWG Annual Meeting Roadshow #2, Paso Robles
13 / CAWG Regional & Board of Directors dinner, Paso Robles
14 / CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Paso Robles

17 / CAWG Annual Meeting Roadshow #3, Napa
18 / CAWG Annual Meeting Roadshow #4, Santa Rosa
23 / CAWG Foundation Golf Tournament , Woodbridge Golf & Country Club
24 / CAWG Annual Meeting Roadshow #5, Lodi

20 / CAWG Regional & Board of Directors dinner, Santa Rosa
21 / CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Santa Rosa