April 18, 2019
**Release Date April 19**
California Grape Acreage Report - 2018
Results from an annual acreage survey of California grape growers – conducted by CDFA and USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service – is scheduled for release at 12 p.m. PT on Friday, April 19 . The purpose of this survey is to provide growers with annual grape acreage and information on new plantings and removals. 

Pierce's Disease Control Program Presents Report to California Legislature for Calendar Year 2018
The 27-page annual report is a comprehensive look at the success and effectiveness of the Pierce’s Disease Control Program. It highlights county workplans, advisory groups, enforcement, glassy-winged sharpshooter management, biological control, survey and detection, research, nursery stock and more. In 2018, there were 34,400 shipments of nursery stock from infested areas to non-infested areas, and no viable life stages of GWSS were discovered at the destination.

Government Relations Report
Today the  Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board  heard public testimony on its proposed regulation for  Outdoor Agricultural Operations During Hours of Darkness . Not surprisingly, labor organizations and the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation  support  the regulations and ag groups oppose.  
Everyone wants ag workers to function in safe conditions and when working at night in conditions that provide the light necessary to safely do their work. However, how light is measured and how light is provided is where the regulation is problematic. The regulation essentially requires levels of night illumination in working areas that will be impossible to obtain and maintain as the ag workplace changes during a work shift.
Due to changes in terrain, heights of vines and curves in rows of vines, for some vineyards to comply with this regulation there would need to be several towers of lights, lighting up the vineyard like a football field. Additionally, those lights would be powered by several generators. This is more light than is needed and may put the grower out of compliance with local regulations dealing with light pollution, noise and air emissions.
After taking  public testimony today , the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board must reply to public comments and may amend the proposed regulation to address concerns. When the public process is completed, the final regulation must be submitted to the Office of Administrative Law for its review. The timeline for this process is uncertain but is likely to take several months at least. 

-Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / 916-379-8995
California Winery CEOs Speak at Sonoma State Wine Conference
The North Bay Business Journal today convened its 19th annual Wine Industry Conference at Sonoma State University. It brought together wine business leaders who spoke about the latest trends, including the luxury wine market, and on making wine while incorporating environmentally-friendly efforts. CEOs from Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Duckhorn Wine Company, Trinchero Family Estates, Far Niente and more shared their insights in a  series of Q&A articles .
Newsom Asks Feds for Major Disaster Declaration
Gov. Gavin Newsom on April 13 sent a letter to President Trump requesting a  major disaster declaration for ongoing recovery efforts following severe atmospheric river systems in February. Presidential major disaster declarations help state, tribal and local governments with recovery projects – including the repair and replacement of disaster-damaged facilities and infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and utilities. Since February, Newsom has declared a state of emergency for  34 counties  due to the winter storms. 
US-Japan Trade Talks Include Ag
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer met with Japan’s economic revitalization minister this week in Washington to continue negotiations on the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement. They discussed trade issues involving agriculture and other goods and agreed to meet again to continue these talks. According to Wine Institute, U.S. wine exports to Japan totaled $93 million in 2018 (No. 4 export market). In an  April 8 press release one of the organization’s regional trade directors wrote, “The U.S. and South Africa are the only two major wine exporters without free trade agreements with Japan and are still subject to the full 15 percent import duty. A U.S.-Japan free trade agreement will put us on a level playing field with our key competitors and further boost California wines in this market.”
UCCE Sonoma County 2019 Grape Day Presentations Online
Presentations from 2019 (listed below) and previous years are posted on the  UCCE Sonoma County website :

  • Update: Vine performance in site infested with X. index nematode (Rhonda Smith)
  • Revisiting our understanding of Pierce's disease epidemiology in the North Coast (Matthew Daugherty)
  • Pre-emergence herbicide programs for vineyard production systems (Brad Hanson)
  • Smoke taint: Effect of wildfires on fruit and wine composition (Thomas Collins)
  • How leaf removal and dropping fruit affects berry ripening (Kaan Kurtural)
California Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees
Applications are now being accepted for the prestigious California Leopold Conservation Award, which honors California farmers, ranchers and other agricultural landowners who demonstrate outstanding stewardship and management of natural resources. Award recipients receive a prize of $10,000. Nomination applications focus on the categories of conservation ethic, ecological community, innovation and adaptability, leadership and communication, and resilience. Nominations are due by July 15, 2019. 

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Where Will Flooded Fields Best Replenish Groundwater?
From Stanford University News: Overpumping in California’s Central Valley has depleted groundwater storage capacity and caused the land to sink. A new model based on remote sensing data could help zero in on where water managers can replenish aquifers by flooding fields. New research suggests a way to map precisely where and how to use groundwater recharge to refill the aquifers and stop the sinking.


Study: Vineyards Can be Converted for Machine Pruning Without Replanting
From UC Agriculture and Natural Resources: Winegrape growers in the San Joaquin Valley who want to switch from hand pruning to mechanical pruning won't have to replant their vineyards to accommodate machinery, according to a new study by UCCE researchers. Instead, growers can retrain the vines to make the transition, without losing fruit yield or quality.

> STUDY :  “Conversion to Mechanical Pruning in Vineyards Maintains Fruit Composition While Reducing Labor Costs in Merlot Grapes”

Trump, Migration and Agriculture
An article by Dr. Philip Martin, professor emeritus at UC Davis and an expert on farm labor and immigration. Martin writes in the intro, “Farmers hoped that President Trump would provide them with a new guest worker program. After two years, farmers are responding to higher labor costs by embracing labor-saving mechanization and hiring more workers under the current H-2A program.” 

Vineyards & Wine
Stockton Record, April 16

CAWG President John Aguirre and board member Jeff Bitter quoted in article. 
Western Farm Press, April 10

April issue

Article highlights a recent study by California researchers on the invasion and eradication of EGVM. 
Entomology Today, March

Good Fruit Grower, March 26
Video Interview: Options for Controlling Nematodes in the Vineyard
Karl Lund, UCCE viticulture advisor, shares both pre- and post-planting options for managing nematodes in a  three-minute video . Some of these options are compatible for organic growers.
Join Us! Jazz & Wine Fest - A Special Event to Support CAWG PAC
Thank you to events hosts Bill and Triana Berryhill, Colligere Farm Management, Cotta Vineyards, Goehring Vineyards, LangeTwins, Robert Lauchland Vineyards, Olagaray Brothers and Vino Farms.

WHEN: May 16 / 5:30-8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Oak Farm Vineyards, 23627 N. Devries Road, Lodi

SJVWA / CSWA Grower Field Day
WHEN: April 24 / 9 a.m. to 1 p .m.
WHERE: Kings River Winery, Sanger
TOPICS: Speakers will discuss grape growing after a wet spring, spring foliar fertilizer applications, mealybug control, sustainable winegrowing certification, aerial imagery in viticulture, workers’ comp and pesticide safety training.

PD/GWSS Board and PD Advisory Task Force Meeting
Open to the public.  Meeting agenda to come .

WHEN: April 29 / 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
WHERE: CDFA, 2800 Gateway Oaks Drive (Room 267), Sacramento
2019 National Winegrape Policy Conference: Early Bird Rate Ends April 19
WHEN: May 20-22
WHERE: Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C. ABOUT: Capitol visits, sessions, speakers and receptions.
REGISTRATION: Early bird rate ($395) ends April 19 .

UCD Winegrape Irrigation Short Course
WHEN: May 22-23
WHERE: Springhill Suites, Napa and Oakville Station

Seats are limited - register early!

May 16
CAWG PAC fundraiser - Jazz & Wine Fest, Lodi

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