Your source for CAWG and industry news
March 23 , 2017

March 29
CAWG 401(k) MEP Meeting, Lodi

April 26-27
National Grape & Wine Policy Conference, Washington, D.C.

May 17-18
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Sacramento

July 17
CAWG PAC Golf Tournament, Napa

July 17
CAWG Awards of Excellence Program and Dinner, Napa

July 18
CAWG Summer Conference, Napa

July 19
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Napa

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DPR Revises Proposed Rules Regarding Pesticide Use Near Schools

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) last week released a revised proposal for regulating the use of agricultural pesticides near schools and child day care facilities. The deadline for the public to submit comments on the revisions is April 4.  The proposed regulation would heavily restrict certain pesticide applications within a quarter mile of school sites from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. One of the key revisions is that g rowers will not be required to notify school sites/licensed child day care facilities and the county agricultural commissioners of pesticide applications made within a quarter mile of these facilities 48 hours before they occur. However, growers will still be required to provide annual notification of the pesticides expected to be applied within a quarter mile of these facilities. CAWG remains opposed to this proposal.

Agriculture Secretary Nominee Finally Gets Senate Confirmation Hearing

The Senate Ag Committee held a hearing today - fittingly during National Agriculture Week - to consider the nomination of Sonny Perdue as secretary of agriculture. In his testimony Perdue said, " I've been in agribusiness since 1977. Farming and farmers have been my life ever since. I have lived and breathed the exhilaration of a great crop and the despair and devastation of a drought." One of his primary goals is to "maximize the ability of the men and women of America's agriculture sector to create jobs, produce and sell the foods and fiber that feed and clothe the world, and to reap the earned reward of their labor. We want to remove every obstacle, and give them every opportunity to prosper." If confirmed, Perdue would face a proposed 21 percent budget cut to the agency.

Impact of Labor Shortage on Growers Focus of LA Times Article

The Los Angeles Times on March 17 published an extensive article about how Trump's immigration crackdown is "worsening a desperate labor shortage" for California farmers. CAWG board member Brad Goehring discussed the labor challenges he and other growers face. He estimated that 85 percent of the labor on the new vineyards he has developed could be replaced by machines.  The article includes a brief video interview with a vineyard manager who is recruiting workers.

Pesticide Fee Bill Moves to Senate

The House of Representatives on March 20 quickly passed by voice vote the Pesticide Registration Enhancement Act (H.R. 1029) . It now heads to the Senate. The bill " amends the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act to improve pesticide registration and other activities under the Act, to extend and modify fee authorities, and for other purposes ." The act essentially extends a program of fee collection to support pesticide registration programs at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The bill has broad support among the agriculture community and crop protection companies. 

Listen and Learn: Vineyard Team Offers Sustainable Winegrowing Podcasts

Podcasts on sustainable winegrowing are now available from the Atascadero-based Vineyard Team. The podcasts range from 10 to 30 minutes and cover science, research and other topics in the wine industry. They are recordings of presentations made from recent events and interviews with farmers and industry experts. A podcast from February features growers sharing their practices and experiences dealing with powdery mildew.


University leaders discuss the viticulture and enology department and partnerships with industry.
Western Farm Press, March 22
With the labor shortage and the immigration crackdown, growers are seeking help to find workers.
National Public Radio, March 22
Feature article about Lodi District Grape Growers Association Executive Director Amy Blagg and her work advocating for winegrape growers.
Lodi News-Sentinel, March 22

Feature article about Lange's background and role in the family business and industry.
Lodi News-Sentinel, March 19
Smith will be honored posthumously on March 30 by the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.
Western Farm Press, March 21
The Seattle Times, March 17

2017 Water Supply Allocation Announced - and Criticized

The Bureau of Reclamation on March 22 announced the 2017 water supply allocation for the remaining Central Valley Project contractors.  North-of-Delta agricultural water districts were allocated 100 percent of their contract supply, while South-of-Delta contractors were allocated 65 percent. That two-thirds allotment drew criticism from some agricultural groups ( read statements ). The Bureau of Reclamation determines the water allocation based upon many factors, including hydrologic conditions, reservoir storage levels, water quality requirements, water rights, contractual obligations and endangered species protection measures. 

Water Articles and Resources

CAWG members interviewed about rainfall and water supply.
Los Angeles Times, March 23
With a June 30 deadline approaching, agencies, farmers and others in affected California groundwater basins are finalizing the formation of groundwater sustainability agencies.
Ag Alert, March 22
UC Davis hydrologist Helen Dahlke is interviewed about the progress and challenges of groundwater recharge.
PPIC, March 21
More than 7 million Californians live in flood-prone areas and many depend on the National Flood Insurance Program to cover losses. But the state is considering pulling out of the program.
Capital Public Radio, March 20


CAWG 401(k) MEP Meeting - Lodi

CAWG logo no words
MARCH 29 / 9 a.m. / LangeTwins Winery & Vineyard

Learn more about CAWG's 401(k) multiple employer plan and the benefits to your company and employees. Presented by Kristina Keck of Woodruff-Sawyer & Co.
>RSVP to natalie@cawg.or or 916-379-8995.

**Recordings from recent webinars will be posted on the CAWG website soon**

CAWG Membership Directory: Make Sure Dues are Current by March 31

Make sure your CAWG dues are current by March 31 in order to be listed in the 2017 membership directory. This annual publication is a great way to be seen in the winegrape industry. The membership directory is a valuable communications tool with a long shelf life. It features grower member listings, associate member listings and additional valuable informational content. If you have membership questions, call CAWG Manager of Member Relations Natalie Collins at 916-379-8995.

Request: Complete the Unified Symposium Post-Conference Survey

Those who attended this year's Unified Wine & Grape Symposium should have received a survey request via email in February. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey(s) to help the organizers better meet your needs for the 2018 event. You can comment specifically on session content and speakers. If you no longer have the email, the surveys are accessible online here.

Call for Nominations: Grower of the Year and Leader of the Year

Recognize your colleagues who have made a difference! CAWG's Awards of Excellence Program spotlights exceptional people who have benefitted the broader community of winegrape growers through exemplary leadership and outstanding commitment to the well-being of the winegrowing industry, California communities and the environment. Nomination forms are available on the  CAWG website

Researchers Looking at Virginia Creeper Leafhopper and Red Blotch Disease

I n Mendocino and Lake counties, University of California researchers are releasing larger numbers of a tiny wasp to improve biological control of the Virginia creeper leafhopper ( article ). The pest favors grape varieties with few or no leaf hairs, such as chardonnay and sauvignon blanc. Researchers are also seeking more answers about red blotch disease and the insect - the three-cornered alfalfa hopper - that transmits the grapevine red blotch-associated virus ( article ).

California Agriculture: Water, Labor and Immigration Conference

This free conference examines current issues in agriculture and farm labor. Farm labor and farm labor law have changed over the past four decades. There are fewer newcomers to the farm workforce, prompting farm employers to take steps to satisfy current workers, stretch them with mechanical aids and substitute machines for hand workers, and supplement with H-2A guest workers.
When: April 14 / 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Where: Kalmanovitz Appellate Courtroom , King Hall, UC Davis, One Shields Ave.

Current Issues in Harvest Logistics
When: April 20 / 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: UC Davis Conference Center (and vineyard)
Hosted by Dr. Kaan Kurtural, this seminar will focus on current research in vineyard mechanization and precision management. Highlights: terrain and water status modeling, management zone delineation in vineyards, canopy and water stress modeling, crop estimation sensing, kinetics of sugar and flavonoid accumulation in vineyards, and decision making process for harvest logistics. Cost is $250.

2017 National Grape & Wine Policy Conference

Voice Your Value: Positioning the Wine Industry to a New Administration

The 2017 National Grape & Wine Policy Conference is slated for April 26-27 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C. The conference will feature expert speakers and an evening congressional reception. Participants will also visit with legislators and staff on Capitol Hill.