FEBRUARY 7, 2019
Grape Crush Report Rescheduled for April 10; No Prelim Report
CDFA and USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) are rescheduling cooperatively funded reports that were affected by the government shutdown. During the lapse in federal funding, NASS was not able to collect data nor issue reports, including those funded by state and industry programs. The Grape Crush Report will be available at  www.nass.usda.gov/ca .

  • The 2018 California Grape Crush Preliminary Report will NOT be published this year.
  • The 2018 California Grape Crush Report will be released April 10 at noon PT, providing that funding remains available for FY 2019.
  • In addition, the 2018 California Grape Acreage Report will be released April 19 at noon PT, providing that funding remains available for FY 2019.
In order to expedite the rescheduled reports and give producers more time to complete their surveys, NASS requests that anyone who received a survey, please respond as quickly as possible. If you no longer have the survey form, please call 800-851-1127 from 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. PT. NASS representatives may call to collect information as well. 
Government Relations Report
This year, the California Legislature will try to advance legislation to provide funding to clean up contaminated drinking water.  AB 134 (Bloom, D-Santa Monica)  and  SB 200 (Monning, D-Carmel)  are two early proposals. Currently, both bills are just placeholders. Last year Sen. Monning proposed to fund the cleanup with new taxes water, dairy and fertilizer. His 2018 legislation also provided regulatory relief for ag.
Assemblymember E. Garcia (D-Coachella) is also working on a third (and possibly a fourth) bill. Garcia is the chair of the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee. 
There is also a  budget trailer bill  in the mix. Last Friday, the Department of Finance came out with a trailer bill that largely mirrors the Monning approach from last year. It also includes $100 million for cleanup of contamination from the Exide Technologies facility in Vernon.  
Any bill that increases taxes requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature. With Democrats holding historic super majorities in both houses, they can pass such tax increases without Republican support. Yesterday,  Reform California , the group that spearheaded the recall of Sen. Josh Newman in 2018, launched a  campaign targeting 12 Democrats  who can pass or defeat this legislation.  
It is very early in the legislative year, but  this issue is a priority for the Newsom administration  and lawmakers are pushing hard for something to cross the finish line in 2019 

-Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / 916-379-8995
Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act Reintroduced in Senate
The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA) was reintroduced in the U.S. Senate on Feb. 6 with support from wine, beer and other beverage associations ( bill text ). The legislation was first introduced in 2015 to recalibrate federal excise taxes and streamline regulations on alcohol beverage producers. It was reintroduced in 2017 by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). Legislation that included a two-year provision of CBMTRA passed in December 2017.

WineAmerica President Jim Trezise said: “The American wine industry generates more than $220 billion annually for the American economy through investments, jobs, tourism and taxes. The [CBMTRA] enhanced our industry’s ability to contribute even more by channeling tax savings into purchases of new equipment, additional employees, increased wages, expanded distribution and facility enlargements. The wine business is highly competitive, capital intensive and labor intensive, so having extra funds available provides a real boost to our industry’s growth. We are deeply grateful for the original legislation, and respectfully urge that it be made permanent.”

New Study: Estimated Impacts of Tariffs on the U.S. Economy and Workers
A new study commissioned by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland indicates further economic damage of an escalated trade war. It was released yesterday on Capitol Hill by the organization, Republican and Democratic U.S. senators, farmers and small business owners who urged an end to the trade war. The report examines the economic effects of actual and threatened tariffs on the U.S. economy and workers one to three years after they have been in effect. “It’s time for the administration to take tariff increases off the table for good, end the threat of new tariffs and finally bring an end to the crippling tariffs we are facing right now,” said former Congressman Charles Boustany.

Cal/OSHA Heat Illness in Indoor Places of Employment - Revised Draft Standard
After reviewing the comments received on the draft standard posted on Oct. 24, 2018, additional revisions have been made. Those who wish to submit comments on the revised draft must do so by Friday, Feb. 22 to  rs@dir.ca.gov . Please feel free to share your comments or concerns with  Michael Miiller  as well. 

US-UK Wine Agreement Prevents Disruption in Trade Due to Brexit
The United States and United Kingdom have struck a deal to ensure there is no disruption in the trade of wine and spirits between the nations when the UK leaves the European Union (EU). Currently the U.S. has agreements on wine and distilled spirits with the EU, which cover trade with the UK by virtue of its membership in the EU.

Take FELS/CFBF/UCD Labor Scarcity Survey
California farmers are encouraged to participate in a 2019 labor survey to establish an accurate baseline of the state’s labor needs, with the information communicated to regulators and lawmakers. The survey is a collaboration between Farm Employers Labor Service, California Farm Bureau Federation and UC Davis. It should take about 10 minutes to complete; responses are anonymous.

Participants Needed for Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Management Survey
A nationwide survey is being conducted to gather information from growers on the economic impact of the brown marmorated stink bug on agriculture. The survey has 20 questions and should take about 20-25 minutes.
TTB Approves New Grape Varieties for Wine
The TTB granted administrative approval for the use of three new grape variety names on American wine labels:
  • Enchantment
  • Itasca
  • Opportunity

Public Hearing Scheduled for Revised WOTUS Definition
EPA and the Army are hosting a public hearing on the proposed new “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) definition on Feb. 27 and 28 in Kansas City. Two weeks prior to the hearing, on Feb. 14, EPA and the Army will hold an informational webcast.  Webinar registration is limited to 2,000 attendees so interested parties should view with colleagues. 

CAWG Foundation Scholarship Applications Due March 8
Each year the CAWG Foundation awards scholarships to several high school seniors whose parents or legal guardians are employed by California winegrape growers.  The application deadline is March 8 . Please share the information and link with your employees. Since the program's inception in 1998, the foundation has awarded $433,000 in scholarships.

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Unified Symposium
Video features interview with CAWG board member Jeff Bitter.
California AgNet, Feb. 6

Growing Produce, Feb. 5

Western Farm Press, Feb. 1

Understanding and leveraging data within the wine industry.
Wine Business, Feb. 1
Vineyards & Wine
UC Davis Viticulture and Enology Videos
Many of the UC Davis Viticulture and Enology events have been recorded and those recordings are available online as a resource to the wine industry. For example, nearly 20 presentations from the 2017 Peter Christensen Wine Grape Short Course lecture tapes are posted  here .

Winegrape Mechanical Pruning Field Demo and Research Update
Co-hosted by SJVWA and UCCE Fresno County, the event will feature UCCE’s George Zhuang and Karl Lund, and UCD’s Kaan Kurtural.

When: Feb. 19 / 8 to 11 a.m.
Where: 7409 W. Central Ave, Fresno

UCD and UC ANR Grapevine Production Short Course
Four days of instruction with hands on demos in the vineyard.

WHEN: Feb. 12-15 
WHERE: Springhill Suites in Napa and Oakville Experiment Station
COST: $1,200

CSWA Webinars and Workshops
CSWA Sustainable Winegrowing & Certification Overview Webinar
Learn about the California Sustainable Winegrowing Program, how to complete a self-assessment using the online portal and the steps required to become Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing.

> FEB. 20 / 10-11:30 a.m.

Napa and Sonoma CSWA Farm Plan Template / LandSmart Workshop
Workshops are designed to assist growers who have already begun completing the CSWA Farm Plan Template or LandSmart.

> NAPA / FEB. 25 / 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

> SONOMA / FEB. 26 / 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

February 26
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Sacramento 

April 10
CAWG Winegrape Day in the Capitol, Sacramento

April 10
CAWG Foundation Wine Reception, Sacramento

April 11
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Sacramento