March 28, 2019
YOUR SOURCE FOR CAWG AND INDUSTRY NEWS. FOR CAWG MEMBERS ONLY.
We're hoping for a strong turnout of CAWG members!



TOP NEWS ITEMS
Good News Regarding Produce Safety Rule Exemption for Winegrape Growers
CAWG PRESS RELEASE: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on March 27 announced it will use its discretion and not enforce Produce Safety Rule requirements for growers of winegrapes. The agency’s announcement follows continued efforts by CAWG to exempt winegrapes from the Produce Safety Rule.
 
FDA also announced it will exercise enforcement discretion with almonds, hops and pulse crops.
 
“This is great news for winegrape growers,” CAWG President John Aguirre said. “FDA recognizes the fact that winegrapes are not consumed raw and winegrape growers should be exempted from the Produce Safety Rule. CAWG will continue to work with Congress and FDA to make sure this exemption remains intact.”

Additional information from FDA:
 


Government Relations Report
STATE COMPUTER PROGRAM COULD COST TAXPAYERS
Few people are surprised to read stories of a state department that is slow to respond to the public or is buried in cost overruns and delays. This is nothing new. However, efforts to tie a new computer program into the state’s existing legacy systems have delayed monthly cash reports and are threatening the accuracy of the state’s annual financial report. State Controller Betty Yee states that this could ultimately increase our debt payment substantially. 
 
While she has “no concern about the state’s cash position or overall fiscal health,” Yee is “gravely concerned” that problems with the state’s accounting software could undermine California’s credit worthiness, she wrote in a recent letter to legislators.
 
If the annual report, normally released in late April, is inaccurate, it could negatively affect the state’s credit rating, which influences borrowing costs for spending on things like infrastructure projects.
 
The computer program, called Fi$Cal, has cost the state more than $900 million and has repeatedly been delayed since its 2005 launch. Assemblymember Jim Patterson (R-Fresno), a member of the California Assembly Budget Committee, said Yee’s letter should add new urgency to the state’s efforts to improve its use of technology.
 
“It’s amazing to me,” Patterson said. “We are the fifth-largest economy on the planet, we’re almost 20 years into the 21st century, we’re the home of Silicon Valley and we have such a fouled-up accounting system that it jeopardizes our credit rating.”
 
The state’s credit rating affects spending at all levels of government.

-Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / 916-379-8995
California Wines: Down to Earth Month
SENATE RESOLUTION: Mike McGuire (D-St. Helena) introduced  SCR 23 – California Wines: Down to Earth Month , with Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa) and Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters) as co-authors. All are members of the Select Committee on California’s Wine Industry. The measure would proclaim April 2019 as California Wines: Down to Earth Month, to celebrate the sustainable leadership of California wineries and winegrape growers throughout the month. CAWG is mentioned in the resolution.

CELEBRATE!  Wineries across the state are celebrating Down to Earth Month with tours, events and tastings. Visit the  Discover California Wines website for more information. 
Glyphosate Trial Update: Bayer Ordered to Pay $80M to Plaintiff
In the second phase of the Hardeman v. Monsanto trial, a jury in a San Francisco federal court decided that Bayer is liable for a man’s cancer and must pay $80 million. In a  statement , Bayer said it is disappointed in the decision and plans to appeal. The company’s  glyphosate website features numerous resources, including glyphosate’s role in agriculture, homeowner use and FAQs.
CalEPA: Blumenfeld Confirmed as Secretary, Others Appointed
The California Senate confirmed Jared Blumenfeld as secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) with a bipartisan vote of 32-3.
 
Gov. Newsom announced the appointments of Serena McIlwain as CalEPA undersecretary and Val Dolcini as CalEPA deputy secretary of agriculture. Dolcini has previous experience with an agriculture-related government agency: he was administrator for USDA’s Farm Service Agency from 2014 to 2017 and state executive director for California from 2009 to 2014. 
Senate Ag Committee Chair Advocates for Ag with Vote Against Green New Deal
The U.S. Senate this week rejected the Green New Deal ( S.J.Res.8 ), a broad proposal to combat climate change. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) was one of 57 senators who voted against it, saying the proposal would hamper American agriculture. In  remarks on the Senate floor , Roberts said, “Regulating American farmers and ranchers out of business will only result in food and fiber production being outsourced to countries that do not have the same conservation-minded producers that we have here in the U.S.”
CAWG Member Dick Cooper Ranch Honored with 2019 Vineyard of the Year
The California State Fair has honored the Dick Cooper Ranch (Cooper Vineyards) of Amador County with the 2019 Vineyard of the Year Award. Joel Peterson and Merry Edwards received the Wine Lifetime Achievement Award. Peterson began his winemaking career in 1976, while Edwards was an early pioneering female winemaker out of UC Davis in 1975. Congratulations!
 

Only 11 Percent of Californians Have REAL IDs
According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), only 3 million out of 27 million California driver license holders have obtained a Read ID. Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security will require your driver license or identification card be REAL ID compliant IF you wish to use it as identification to board a domestic flight or enter military bases and most federal facilities.Those who do not have a REAL ID by October 2020 will be required to use a passport or military ID. DMV recommends obtaining one soon.


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WATER & WEATHER
Ag Groups Urge Congress to Pass Legislation for Western Water Challenges
Thirty-five California ag organizations and water interests -- plus dozens of other groups from Western states – are asking Congress to use any infrastructure package under consideration to include water infrastructure needs for storage and conveyance in the West. The coalition this week sent a letter to key Congressional committees and Western senators. Stating “our existing water infrastructure in the West is aging and in need of rehabilitation and improvement,” the letter underscores that water conservation, water recycling, watershed management, conveyance, desalination, water transfers, groundwater storage and surface storage are all needed in a diversified management portfolio. 


RESOURCES
Changes to Catastrophic Coverage (CAT)
If you have one or more crops at the catastrophic coverage level on your multi-peril crop insurance policy, starting next year, the catastrophic risk protection endorsement administrative fee will increase from $300 to $655 per crop per county due to the implementation of section 11110 of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (farm bill). CAT covers 50 percent of your average yield and indemnifies you for 55 percent of the expected market price. With CAT coverage, you are only responsible for an administrative fee, while 100 percent of the premium is subsidized by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. 
 
With the increase in the CAT fee, the cost of a buy-up plan may be more affordable for you. While CAT indemnifies the grower for 55 percent of the expected market price, buy-up coverage will indemnify you for 100 percent of price with higher coverage levels available. Depending on your acreage size, production history, crop and price election, buy-up coverage may be more affordable than CAT coverage while providing higher coverage.
 
For more information on how this will affect your policy, reach out to your agent to discover your coverage options or give Pan American Insurance Services a call at 800-303-8272.
CAWG / CAWG PAC
CAWG Dues and Membership Directory
Please make sure your CAWG dues are current by March 30, 2019 or you'll miss your opportunity to be listed in CAWG's 2019 Membership Directory. The directory is a valuable communications vehicle with a long shelf life and features grower and associate member listings and other valuable content. If you have membership questions, call the CAWG office at 916-379-8995.
Support CAWG PAC: Join Us at Balletto Vineyards in Santa Rosa
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.
RSVP & SPONSORSHIPS: Email info@cawg.org
ARTICLES OF INTEREST
Vineyards & Wine
CAWG board member Jeff Bitter, Allied Grape Growers, is interviewed about crop insurance and smoke exposure.
Western Farm Press, March 27

Information from Kendra Baumgartner, a plant pathologist for USDA in Davis, who specializes in trunk diseases.
Good Fruit Grower, March 26

Interview with Anne Steinhauer.
KCBX News, March 26

Cooper joined UCCE in Napa County in 2009 as a viticulture farm advisor.
ASEV, March 22
Water
CAWG member Brad Goehring is interviewed about the “mini wetland” that he can’t farm.
SF Chronicle, March 25

California Weather Blog, March 24

Labor
Researcher will work with colleagues at Cal Poly SLO and Cornell.
ASU Now, March 28

UPCOMING EVENTS
2019 National Winegrape Policy Conference: Early Bird Registration Ends April 19
The 2019 National Winegrape Policy Conference is slated for May 20-22 at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C. The conference will begin on May 20 with an evening reception. May 21 will feature sessions, speakers and Capitol Hill visits. The final day will include a breakfast meeting and addition Capitol Hill visits. Early bird registration ($395) ends April 19.


CALENDAR
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