February 27, 2020
Be Engaged with CAWG's Advocacy Efforts
This is an important opportunity to meet with key legislators and other decision-makers to discuss current issues or bills that have an impact on the winegrape industry. We are hoping for a strong turnout of CAWG members!

Support Student Scholarships
The CAWG Foundation Gala – featuring a reception, program, silent auction and raffle – will be held at The Senator Hotel (1121 L Street, Sacramento) from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. New this year is an entertaining “tour through California” that showcases spectacular wines from throughout the state and exquisite cuisine. Guests will hear from the winery and chef about the delicious wine and food pairings.

Government Relations Report
One of the biggest bills passed last year is AB 5 (Gonzalez, D-San Diego), which changed hundreds of thousands of California independent contractors into employees. Not surprisingly, this resulted in several court challenges and protests from dozens of industries. 
This year, there are 34 different bills pending in the California Legislature that would repeal AB 5 or to amend how it applies to various industries. This includes journalists, beauticians, medical court reporters, umpires and referees, pharmacists, therapists and much more. The issue getting the most attention, and one that could directly affect every business in California, is the “business to business” exemption in AB 5. This provision is very convoluted, but is intended to recognize that legitimate business to business relationships are not employment. 
However, because of how AB 5 was written, it is very confusing as to how the business to business exemption applies, or if it applies at all. That is why the Legislature is taking this on in the flurry of bills to fix AB 5. It is not clear what the outcome of these bills will be, but one thing is certain: the Legislature will act on this issue in 2020.

-Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / 916-379-8995
Upcoming Conference: Farm Labor 2020 - Technology, H-2A and Immigration
WHEN: March 20 / 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m.
WHERE: Kalmanovitz Appellate Courtroom, UC Davis Law School

The conference examines ag labor-related issues in California and the U.S. Three timely issues will be discussed: How are changes in technology and trade affecting the demand for farmworkers? How is the expansion of the H-2A program affecting the current aging and unauthorized farm workforce? How are the Trump administration migration policy changes affecting farmers, farmworkers and ag communities?
Be on the Lookout for Spotted Lanternfly
CAWG members may have read via AgNet West or social media about a possible recent sighting of a live spotted lanternfly (SLF) in Davis, Calif. “We have a recent report, unofficial, from someone familiar with the identification of this pest,” UC Cooperative Extension entomologist Surendra Dara said in the article. Although this is an unofficial report, CAWG encourages members to be vigilant with this destructive pest and report SLF sightings to officials (ag commissioner, farm advisor or CDFA).
New Grape Varieties Approved for Designating American Wine
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has administratively approved the use of the two new grape variety names: savagnin/savagnin blanc and poulsard. Wine bottlers can use these names, as well as  other names granted administrative approval , to label American wines pending TTB’s next rulemaking. Click here to see the complete list of grape variety names approved for use in designating American wines.
National Ag Groups Launch New Coalition for Sustainability
Nearly two dozen national farm and ranch groups last week announced the Farmers for a Sustainable Future , which aims to be a key resource for lawmakers and policymakers as they consider climate policies. The coalition -- representing millions of ag producers who are committed to sustainable farm practices – wants “policies that support science-based research, voluntary incentive-based conservation programs, investment in infrastructure, and solutions that ensure vibrant rural communities and a healthy planet.”

House Ag Committee Hearing on Rural Economy
The House Ag Committee on March 4 will hold a hearing titled “ The State of the Rural Economy with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue .” This is a full committee hearing that will be webcast  live online

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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Third Snow Survey: Extreme Variability Between 2019 and 2020
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today conducted its third manual snow survey in the Sierra Nevada east of Sacramento. The survey recorded a snow depth of 29 inches and a snow water equivalent of 11.5 inches, which is 47 percent of an average March and 46 percent of the April 1 average at this location. Statewide, the current Sierra snowpack is 46 percent of average. In comparison, the Sierra snowpack was 153 percent of average at this time last year. DWR’s Sean de Guzman said, “This February will most likely end up as the driest February in the Northern Sierra on record dating back to 1921.”

As of Feb. 26, the historical averages for California’s 12 major reservoirs range from 83 percent (San Luis) to 132 percent (Melones).

Reclamation Announces Initial 2020 Water Allocation
Following two mostly dry months, and considering low snowpack, the Bureau of Reclamation this week announced the initial 2020 water supply allocation for Central Valley Project water service contractors. Among the contractors, north-of-Delta will be allocated 50 percent, while south-of-Delta will be allocated only 15 percent. The press release also addresses President Trump’s plan to bring more water to Central Valley farmers.

R&D Tax Credit for Agriculture: Recording Available Online
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.

If you would like to access the full recording of the webinar,  click here  and enter your information.

CAWG Member Helps Fund Digitizing of Pioneering Viticulturist's Papers
Cameron Baker and Kate Solari Baker, owners of Larkmead Vineyards (CAWG member), recently gifted $200,000 for the UC Davis library to digitize the Harold Paul Olmo Papers. According to a Feb. 18 UC Davis News article , the funding will allow broader access to Olmo’s work in grape breeding and the suitability of grape varieties to different climates and terrains worldwide. Olmo was a grape breeder and viticulturist who played a key role in the development of the California wine industry starting in the 1930s. He released more than 30 wine and table grape varieties in his 40-year career, and his clones are still widely planted today. 


It may mean higher taxes on vineyards, wineries and other ag operations.
Ag Alert, Feb. 26

North Bay Business Journal, Feb. 26

Prelim report showed a grape crush well below 2018’s crush.
Western Farm Press, Feb. 25

Talks center on irrigation technologies, pests and diseases
Western Farm Press, Feb. 25

Signs of an early grape growing season have been observed.
Feb. 24


Podcast features Ceres Imaging (CAWG member) scientist and farmer Kirk Stueve discussing the future of precision ag and 5G networks.
This Time Tomorrow podcast, Feb. 25


A bone-dry February compounds dry to start to winter.
Feb. 14


Advanced Grapevine Irrigation Scheduling and Management Workshop
WHEN: March 4 / 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
WHEN: UC Davis Activities and Rec Center ballroom

Central Coast Winegrape Seminar
UC Cooperative Extension experts will discuss pests, diseases and research projects.
WHEN: March 6 / 1 to 5 p.m.
WHERE: Monterey County Ag Center, 1432 Abbott Street, Salinas

UCCE Spray Application Workshop
I nformation on the safe and efficient use of spray applications for all crops.

WHEN: March 11 / 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
WHERE: Veterans Memorial Building, 801 Grand Ave., San Luis Obispo

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, Santa Rosa
17 / CAWG Annual Meeting Roadshow #4, Napa
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