March 26, 2020
CAWG Update
CAWG staff members are committed to providing you with regular updates and helpful information related to COVID-19 pandemic. For additional information, please visit our resources web page .
$2T Coronavirus Stimulus Package Includes Relief for Farmers
The U.S. Senate late Wednesday passed the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act ( S. 3548 ) by a vote of 96-0. The bill now heads to the House, with a possible vote on Friday. The bill will provide emergency assistance for individuals, families and businesses – including farmers – affected by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.

The following links provide more details on the business and ag industry provisions and benefits of the bill:

From CAWG’s D.C. lobbyist team, Cornerstone Government Affairs

R-Kan., Senate Ag Committee chair

D-Mich., Senate Ag Committee ranking member
Important Update on H-2A Visas
According to an email from a USDA official, the agency has been working diligently with other U.S. government agencies to limit the disruption in the H-2A workforce caused by COVID-19. The U.S. State Department today took additional steps to increase processing of H-2 visa holders through consulates around the world. For specific labor related questions, email .

> USDA FARMERS.GOV (includes H-2A Q&A)

Please Take Brief Survey on Critical Supply Chain Needs
CAWG emailed a survey to members on March 25 to get feedback on immediate and critical supply chain needs. CAWG is working with CDFA to gather data on supply chain disruptions affecting winegrape growers. CDFA is working with other state agencies to identify supply chain disruptions affecting agricultural producers, with a focus on the most pressing needs for PPE and cleaning/ sanitizing materials. Please complete the brief survey by Friday, March 27. We appreciate your participation!
Document: COVID-19 / Labor-Related Questions
An ongoing issue facing growers is how to address labor challenges while California is under a stay at home order. The food and ag sector is one of the nation's 16 critical infrastructure sectors , so growers are allowed to continue ag operations. However, this creates some unique situations. CAWG has worked with the law firm of Fisher Phillips, LLP (CAWG associate member) to produce a seven-page document that answers many labor-related questions that may arise as the state and federal government responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Webinar: COVID-19 / Employment and Labor Law

CAWG is also partnering with Fisher Phillips, LLP to host a CAWG members-only webinar to provide up-to-date information on federal and state employment law-related items.

WHEN: March 31 / 9-10:30 a.m.
PRESENTERS: Fisher Phillips' Collin Cook (partner) and Brandon Kahoush (associate)
UCD's Dan Sumner Comments on COVID-19 Crisis with Wine Example
From a California Ag Today broadcast / March 18:
UC Davis economist Dr. Daniel Sumner says different agricultural products will be affected by the crisis in different ways. “You do have to think about it commodity by commodity. Which ones are most sensitive to income? Which ones aren't? Let me just give you a quick example from the wine industry. The premium wine industry here in California, that means the grapes that are grown along the coast. Higher proportion is sold in restaurants. Higher proportion is income sensitive. And people that still want to drink wine, they now drink it at home. And, they're a little worried about their job. They say, 'gee am I going to get laid off?' whatever. 'My company's not making any money'. 'I don't get my bonus', whatever. They move down and move in the direction of Central Valley wines. So, you could have the Central Valley wine industry be better off at the same time, the coastal wine industry is hurt. And we saw that in a recession 10 years ago.”
Related Resources and Articles

Total U.S. beverage alcohol retail sales in the week ending March 14, over the same period in 2019: wine was up 27.6 percent.
Forbes, March 25

American Farm Bureau Federation, March 25

TFI, March 23

NRCS, March 23

Public Policy Institute of California, March 20

Government Relations Report
The California Legislature is currently out until April 13 (likely later) because of the pandemic. When it returns, some lawmakers have strongly suggested that only legislation related to COVID-19 should be approved. Everything else could wait until we get through this crisis.
The governor has already signed legislation keeping schools whole while they are closed and providing $1 billion in COVID-19 response efforts. Additional legislation related to COVID-19 will mostly focus on the following:
  • Workers' compensation for workers exposed to COVID-19 in the course of their job.
  • Extended family leave.
  • Extended unemployment insurance.
  • Prohibit evictions.
  • Mortgage relief.
  • Recovery package for hardest hit industries.
The Legislature will also have to approve a state budget by June 15. At of the end of last year, California’s budgetary rainy day fund amounted to about $20 billion. The 2020-21 state budget will be revised in May and will be scaled back from what the governor proposed in January. The revised budget will need to dip into the reserve and will likely be a zero-based budget that cuts all new programs while reducing funding for ongoing programs.

Every five years, the Pierce’s Disease Control Program (PDCP) is up for renewal through a vote of the growers. As we are all dealing with stay home orders and a host of other pandemic-related challenges, the referendum could not come at a worse time.
However, the date for the referendum is set by law, and you should receive your ballot the week of April 6. Growers have 30 days to mail in their ballots. For the referendum to be valid, at least 40 percent of growers must submit a valid ballot. The voting period can be extended another 30 days if needed.
Growers are urged to return their ballots and vote yes for the continuation of the PDCP.  The PDCP is overseen by the Pierce’s Disease/Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter Board, which includes growers from all over the state. The board has been very successful at maintaining costs while providing critically needed treatment, containment and monitoring of pests.  
Once we get through this current crisis, growers will still face the ongoing challenges of dealing with European grapevine moth, brown marmorated stink bug, mealybugs, red blotch, leafroll and fanleaf virus. The PDCP has been of great value in protecting our crop and works hard to protect the interests of growers. 
-Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995
April is California Wines: Down to Earth Month
Wineries across the state are still planning to celebrate Down to Earth Month – albeit in new ways! Due to Gov. Newsom’s order to suspend winery tasting room activities and events due to COVID-19, many of California’s sustainably-focused wineries are offering discounts on wine and shipping fees. Visit the website to learn more.

Drought Monitor Map
As of March 24, abnormally dry or moderate drought conditions still exist in two-thirds of California.

Read a drought summary for the West and see statistics comparing current conditions with conditions at this time last year.
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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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CAWG Dues and Membership Directory
Make sure your CAWG dues are current by March 31. Otherwise, you'll miss your opportunity to be listed in CAWG's 2020 Membership Directory (digital only). This annual publication is a great way to be seen in the winegrape industry. The membership directory is a valuable communications vehicle that features grower member listings, associate member listings and additional valuable informational content. If you have membership questions, call the CAWG office at 916-379-8995.
Podcast: The Goldilocks Principle and Powdery Mildew Management

The Vineyard Team’s March 19 podcast (a rebroadcast) features Dr. Michelle Moyer, assistant professor and statewide viticulture extension specialist at Washington State University. She uses the fairytale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears to explain powdery mildew. Like Goldilocks, powdery mildew likes the weather conditions to be just right. Dr. Moyer explains these ideal conditions and two key ways to avoid disease in your vineyard by making things “not right.”

> PODCAST  (30 minutes)


March 25

Interview with Greg Gonzalez of Scheid Family Wines (CAWG member).
Callifornia Ag Net, March 25

Western Farm Press, March 25

What attracts nematodes to their host is largely still a mystery, according to a team of scientists.
Western Farm Press, March 25

Interview with Steve Fredricks of Turrentine Brokerage (CAWG member).
California Ag Net, March 20

12 / CAWG Annual Meeting Roadshow #1, Buellton - CANCELLED
13 / CAWG Annual Meeting Roadshow #2, Paso Robles - CANCELLED
13 / CAWG Regional & Board of Directors dinner, Paso Robles - CANCELLED
14 / CAWG Board of Directors meeting - LOCATION AND FORMAT TBD

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

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