March 14, 2019
Today - March 14 - is National Ag Day!
National Ag Day is about recognizing and celebrating the contributions of agriculture in our everyday lives. Check out the  National Ag Day website for promotional images and other resources.

In a  lengthy proclamation declaring National Ag Day, President Trump wrote, “I encourage all Americans to observe this day by recognizing the preeminent role that agriculture plays in our daily lives, acknowledging agriculture’s continuing importance to rural America and our country’s economy, and expressing our deep appreciation of farmers, growers, ranchers, producers, national forest system stewards, private agricultural stewards, and those who work in the agriculture sector across the nation.”
California Receives $16M from USDA for Pest Detection, Plant Protection
USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is allocating $16 million to California for pest detection and surveillance, identification and threat mitigation, and to protect the U.S. nursery production system. Projects receiving the most funding are:

  • $5 million to survey for harmful exotic fruit fly populations.
  • $3.5 million to support the activities of California’s ag detector dog teams searching for harmful, exotic plant pests in packages at mail and express parcel delivery facilities.
  • $2.2 million to support National Clean Plant Network foundation plant stocks for grapes and other crops. 
  • $1.78 million to support California’s Emergency Plant Health Response Teams for responding to, delimiting the infestation area, and managing outbreaks of exotic plant pests.

“California is a critical partner in protecting U.S. agriculture,” USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach said in a  press release . “With this funding, California will be able to better protect its own resources, and, in doing so, contribute to USDA’s mission of keeping our nation’s agriculture economy healthy and strong.”
Government Relations Report
On March 1, the Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board released its  proposed regulation  for Outdoor Agricultural Operations During Hours of Darkness. The board will hold a public hearing on April 18 in Sacramento.
This proposal has been in development for five years and is very specific in the level of lumens (lux) needed. For example, it requires 53.82 lux for “general safety during outdoor agricultural operations, pathways leading to and around restrooms and drinking water, inside restroom facilities, storage areas accessed by employees and areas within 25 feet of agricultural equipment where workers are present.”
Fifty-three lux is about the same as the lighting in a living room. Achieving an illuminance of 53 lux might be possible in a living room with a tabletop lamp. However, to light the area described in the regulation to the same level of lux requires a far greater number of lumens. To comply, some vineyards may need to be lit up like a football field.
CAWG will be responding to this proposal and asking for changes.  The public is also invited to comment  on this proposal by April 18. Comments should be emailed to Sarah Money, Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board, at

Some growers have asked how the proposed State Wetland Definition and Procedures for Dischargers of Dredge or Fill Material to Waters of the State ( WOTS ) at the State Water Board might apply to winegrape growers. In short, WOTS may require a permit for routine annual farm activities. The permit process would be costly, lengthy and has no clear outcome.
State Water Board staff indicates that WOTS is intended to have no significant impact on ag. However, below are three specific examples of how it may apply to growers:
  1. The definition of wetlands is broad, and irrigation is viewed as “artificial wetlands.” This means that maintenance of an irrigation pond or drip irrigation may require a permit.
  2. WOTS exempts prior converted croplands. However, the exemption is only if it is a prior converted cropland certified by USDA. Because most growers are not certified, they are subject to WOTS and any discharge as a result of disking, tilling, etc. would be subject to regional board oversight.
  3. As the State Water Board considers WOTS, it is contemplating viewing crop rotations as a non-agricultural activity. This would mean that a grower who pulls out merlot to plant cabernet sauvignon may need to get a permit from the regional water board.

The State Water Board may take action on WOTS as early as April 2. CAWG is working diligently to resolve concerns for growers.

-Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995
CDFA Offering Grants for IPM Strategies for Invasive Pests
CDFA is offering funding for the development of alternatives to control invasive insect pests that could cause significant damage to California commodities. The agency received an annual appropriation of $544,000 for this and other research as part of the 2018-19 budget. CDFA is seeking proposals for comprehensive IPM strategies that can be quickly implemented if a new invasive pest becomes established in California. Applications are due April 8. Public or private colleges and universities; local and federal government entities; and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply.

Humboldt State Researchers Seeking Participants for Survey on Barn Owl Boxes and Vineyard Pest Management
Dr. Matthew Johnson and students of the Wildlife Habitat Ecology Lab at Humboldt State University have been conducting studies on how barn owl nest boxes can help the winegrape industry in Napa County. They are interested in understanding of how wine producers perceive barn owls as potential tools for pest control and how their perspectives on wildlife and the environment in general relate to various vineyard practices. They hope the research results and recommendations will be useful for growers. 

Exported Bulk Wine Growth in Volume, Value: bw166 Report
According to a recent report by wine industry consulting group bw166, exported  bulk wine for the last 12 months grew 11.6 percent by volume and 9.8 percent by value. However, exported  packaged wine for the last 12 months declined by 12 percent by volume and 5.3 percent by value.  Report highlights state that 9 percent of all exported  packaged wine by value is destined for Canada while 56 percent of all exported  bulk wine by value is destined for United Kingdom.

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 via  email . Paid sponsorship: CA license No. 0F89850.
Providing creative, integrated solutions for our beverage and agricultural industry partners with quality packaging products and supply chain services.
Save on labor with mechanical pruning compatibility. Ask about Eco Trellis today.
Providing the very best California crop insurance services.
CALL 916-379-8995.
California is Almost 100 Percent Drought Free
According to March 14 statistics from the U.S Drought Monitor, there is no drought in 93.42 percent of the state. The remaining 6.58 percent – areas near the southern and northern borders – is considered abnormally dry. At this time in 2018, 47 percent of the state was in drought. In March 2016, more than 90 percent of the state was in drought.

> ARTICLE : It took a while, but California is now almost completely out of drought (KQED)

Video: Incorporating Biopesticides in Vineyard IPM Programs
From California AgNet: As biopesticides become more available to the grape industry, growers and PCAs may wonder how to incorporate them into IPM programs. Dan Rodrigues, of Vina Quest and the Cal Poly Viticulture and Enology Department, addressed this at the Central Coast Grape Expo. 


Participate! CAWG Day in the Capitol and CAWG Foundation Gala
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 an enjoyable reception at The Sutter Club. We’ll promote the accomplishments of the foundation and raise money for the scholarship fund. The reception will feature delicious food and wine, a silent auction, and a wine tasting competition with political VIPs judging California wines. 

PLEASE DONATE AUCTION ITEMS! Contact Carolee at 916-379-8995 or

Support CAWG PAC: Join Us at Balletto Vineyards in Santa Rosa
live music * food * wine * networking

We hope you'll attend this special evening event that will also include a recap of our recent legislative efforts, what lies ahead for our industry in California, and insights into the 2020 election.

WHEN: April 4 / 5:30-8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Balletto Vineyards, 5700 Occidental Road, Santa Rosa
EVENT HOSTS: Balletto Vineyards and Vino Farms, Inc.
Call for Nominations!
Nominations for CAWG Grower of the Year and CAWG Leader of the Year are due April 12. The Awards of Excellence program honors CAWG members who have distinguished themselves within the winegrape industry, achieved excellence and benefitted the broader community of winegrape growers through exemplary leadership and outstanding commitment to the well-being of the industry, California communities and environment.

Vineyards & Wine
March 2019

March 2019

Western Farm Press, March 13

Western Farm Press, March 13

Press release, March 12

A Ciatti Company representative spoke at the Clarksburg Grape Day.
Wine Business, March 11
Celebrate California Ag Day on March 20 in Sacramento
Legislators, government leaders, students and the public will gather at the State Capitol to celebrate the event.

TRAVEL BY TRAIN! If you want to skip the traffic and parking hassle, consider riding Amtrak to Sacramento. Free wi-fi on board. 

UCD Viticulture and Enology On the Road in Lake County
WHEN: March 28 / 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: Soper-Reese Community Theater, 275 So. Main Steet, Lakeport
TOPICS: Professors and UCCE specialists will cover: smoke taint research, canopy  management, trunk diseases and rootstocks. 

April 4
CAWG PAC Fundraiser, Balletto Vineyards, Santa Rosa

April 10
CAWG Day in the Capitol, Sacramento

April 10
CAWG Foundation Gala, Sacramento

April 11
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Sacramento

June 24
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Sonoma

June 25
CAWG Summer Conference, Sonoma

June 25
CAWG Awards of Excellence Program and Dinner, Sonoma

June 26
CAWG Foundation Golf Tournament, Sonoma