April 16, 2020
YOUR SOURCE FOR CAWG AND INDUSTRY NEWS. FOR CAWG MEMBERS ONLY.
COVID-19 NEWS
CAWG Website Resource Page
Our website resource page includes all of our COVID-19 news alerts, as well as numerous links for state, federal and ag industry resources.
New Analysis: US Wine Losses From COVID-19 Could Reach Nearly $6B
Revenue losses for the nation’s more than 10,000 wineries and more than 8,000 winegrape growers due to COVID-19 could reach $5.94 billion on an annualized basis in 2020, according to a new analysis by wine industry expert Jon Moramarco, managing partner of bw166 and editor of the Gomberg-Fredrikson Report.



CAWG President John Aguirre said in the press release, “Grape prices were bad before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but now we are confronted by the prospect of a financial disaster for growers. We are grateful that winegrowers continue to operate with extra safety protocols in place, but there is a direct link between the success of tourism, hospitality, events and restaurants and the financial health of the many growers who supply grapes for wines sold in those segments of the wine market.”
Government Relations Report
COVID-19 SUPPLEMENTAL PAID SICK LEAVE
Gov. Newsom today announced by  executive order  that he is requiring employers with 500 or more employees to provide 14 days of paid sick leave for food sector workers who cannot work due to COVID-19. Food sector workers include employees of growers and wineries. The executive order also provides health and safety standards to increase worker and customer protection by permitting workers at retail food facilities to wash their hands every 30 minutes, or as needed, to increase proper sanitation measures.
 
The purpose of the  order  is to help those workers who did not receive federal relief because federal relief was limited to those working for companies with less than 500 employees. However, the federal program provides payments to workers from the federal government. Today’s executive order requires payments from employers. 

COVID-19 & AGRICULTURE
A newfound appreciation for farmers has emerged from the current pandemic. For too long there has been a disconnect between consuming food and beverages and understanding how those products are produced and appear in great abundance in grocery stores. Dan Walters, a former Sacramento Bee columnist , recently wrote a commentary for CalMatters acknowledging the central importance of agriculture amidst the current crisis:
 
“In certain circles – especially among environmental and social justice activists – farmers are dismissed as greedy despoilers. […] This crisis should tell us otherwise and whenever it ends, we should emerge with a new appreciation for those who grow, harvest, process and deliver our food – and show that regard in tangible ways.”

 
-Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / 916-379-8995
CA's Roadmap to Modify the Stay-at-Home Order: Six Factors
Gov. Newsom yesterday unveiled six key indicators  that will guide the state regarding when and how to modify the stay-at-home and other orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
USDA Releases COVID-19 Guide
USDA has created the COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide (PDF) , a resource matrix that organizes funding opportunities identified in the CARES Act and other federal resources that can help support rural communities.
U.S. Senators Push for Specialty Crop Assistance
The CARES Act included $9.5 billion in emergency funding for ag producers, including specialty crop producers, impacted by COVID-19. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and 28 other U.S. senators have asked the USDA to ensure those specialty crop producers receive financial assistance “that is commensurate with the losses they are facing.” In an April 13 letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue , the bipartisan group of senators mentioned several factors that are contributing to growers’ increased challenges, losses and uncertainty during the pandemic.
DHS Announces Temporary Final Rule to Change Certain H-2A Requirements
The Department of Homeland Security is temporarily amending certain H-2A requirements to help producers regarding lawful ag-related employment, maintain the flow of the food supply, and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. One of the temporary changes is that H-2A workers will now be allowed to stay beyond the three-year maximum allowable period of stay in the United States. “Providing flexibility for H-2A employers to utilize H-2A workers that are currently in the United States is critically important as we continue to see travel and border restrictions as a result of COVID-19,” USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said.
Agriculture Among President's New Economic Revival Groups
The White House this week announced the 200-plus members of the newly-created Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups . The 17 bipartisan groups – from agriculture to finance to tech – will help “chart the path forward toward a future of unparalleled American prosperity.” Members of the agriculture group include Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation ( press release ), and Barbara Grimm, co-owner of California-based Grimmway Farms.
Related Resources and Articles
>USDA Risk Management Agency: Updated crop insurance-related FAQs


>Los Angeles Times: Tracking coronavirus in California (stats and county restrictions)

Department of Treasury, April 15

CFBF is urging USDA and members of Congress to include California specialty crop producers in COVID-19 relief programs.
Ag Alert, April 15

With restaurants, hotels and schools closed, many of the nation’s largest farms are destroying millions of pounds of fresh goods that they can no longer sell.
New York Times, April 11

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TOP NEWS ITEMS
Request for Growers to Complete Unharvested Price Adjustment Survey
Survey deadline extended to Friday, April 17

CAWG is collecting information on grape harvest costs for 2019 to assist USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA). By completing the seven-question survey , you will help ensure RMA has the best available information for determining your crop insurance indemnity payments.

CAWG recognizes that these survey questions may not track how you allocate harvest costs, so your patience and participation are greatly appreciated. We will keep your responses confidential and provide a summary of our overall findings.
2020 Census: Quick and Easy; Your Response is Critical
The 2020 Census is underway! If you have not yet responded, you can complete the questionnaire online, by phone or by mail (paper versions were mailed to homes in mid-March). It should take only 10 minutes. If you do not respond, census takers will contact homes between May 27 and Aug. 14 to get your answers.

About the census: The U.S. Constitution mandates that a census of the population be conducted every 10 years. Census data helps determine the number of seats each state holds in Congress and how billions of dollars in funding are distributed to states and local communities every year for services and infrastructure, including healthcare, jobs, schools, roads and bridges. 
Wine Remains No. 4 Export Commodity
From CDFA’s California Agricultural Exports 2018-19 , the top five export commodities in 2018 were:
 
  1. Almonds: $4.53 billion ($4.48 billion in 2017)
  2. Pistachios: $1.74 billion ($1.52 billion in 2017)
  3. Dairy and products: $1.7 billion ($1.6 billion in 2017)
  4. Wine: $1.33 billion ($1.4 billion in 2017)
  5. Walnuts: $1.28 billion ($1.37 billion in 2017)

In addition to other statistics, the report shows the major destinations for wine exports remained the European Union, Canada, China/Hong Kong and Japan. The state’s ag exports totaled $21.02 billion in 2018, a 1.3 percent increase from the year before. California’s share of total U.S. ag exports for 2018 was 15.1 percent.
California Farmworker Foundation News
>2020 Farmworker Advocacy Day video highlighting CFF's Feb. 26 trip to the state Capitol.

>COVID-19: CFF is partnering with California ag companies and healthcare organizations on social and public health initiatives for farmworkers. > LEARN MORE

>CFF is expanding its free virtual health clinics for farmworkers who suffer from chronic diseases or respiratory illnesses. Due to COVID-19's impact on the healthcare systems, CFF has partnered with Dr. Nidia Payan to provide care for farmworkers who suffer from these illnesses. Employers can refer farmworkers who meet the guidelines so that CFF can provide them with access to care. To host an on-site virtual health clinic, call CFF at 661-778-0015.
Please Vote! Pierce's Disease Control Program Referendum
CAWG urges growers to vote yes on the continuation of the valuable Pierce’s Disease Control Program. Growers should have received their ballots in the mail this week, and will have 30 days to mail them in. At least 40 percent of the eligible voters must cast ballots for the referendum to be valid.

> PD/GWSS BOARD HIGHLIGHTS (April issue)

WEBINARS
EDUCATION
"Coffee with a Farmer" Video Series
The Center for Land-Based Learning (CLBL) recently launched its new YouTube show titled “ California Dirt: Coffee with a Farmer .” CLBL Executive Director Mary Kimball and her guests – farmers, ranchers, ag industry professionals and others – talk via Zoom about what is happening in today's food and farming world.
 
Kimball recently interviewed Tara Beaver Coronado (Beaver Vineyards in Walnut Grove), who spent the entire interview in her new vineyard.

CALENDAR
MAY
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

JUNE
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

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