April 23, 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.
Government Relations Report
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION & COVID-19
California has adopted a variety of COVID-19 related measures aimed at protecting the wages and health and safety of essential workers in critical infrastructure sectors, including agriculture. Gov. Newsom is currently considering an additional measure that would provide workers’ compensation benefits to essential workers who contract COVID-19, regardless of where the virus was actually contracted. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California estimates the cost of the new mandate at $11.2 billion, which would be borne by insurers and employers. 

Along with other groups, CAWG is actively engaged in the issue and is talking directly with the governor’s office, the Department of Industrial Relations and the California Department of Food and Agriculture. CAWG has explained that winegrape growers are struggling financially under the weight of depressed market prices, uncertainty surrounding the upcoming 2020 harvest and multiple unfunded government mandates (growers are ill equipped to absorb the costs of additional mandates). Additionally, it makes no sense to conclusively presume that the worker contracted COVID-19 at work.
 
CAWG sent a letter to Newsom explaining the association’s concerns. The governor’s office is hearing from several other farm organizations and industry groups that have raised similar concerns. At this point, it is unclear whether the governor will issue an executive order. 
 
The California Legislature is also considering providing workers’ compensation for those essential workers who contract COVID-19. However, the legislative approach is narrower in focus.
 
The Legislature is preparing to come back into session on May 4. 

 
-Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / 916-379-8995
Senate, House Pass $484B Bill for Additional Coronavirus Aid
The House of Representatives today passed a $484 billion relief bill – already passed by the Senate on Tuesday – that provides more aid for small businesses, hospitals and virus testing. The bill, which passed in the House by a vote of 388-5-1, now heads to the
president, who is expected to sign it into law.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
The $484 billion relief package includes $310 billion to continue the Small Business Administration’s PPP. The first round of PPP funds ran out after the SBA approved 1,661,397 loans. SBA released a PPP report on loans approved through April 16. California businesses accounted for nearly 113,000 loans totaling $33.4 billion. The agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting subsector (national) had 46,334 loans totaling nearly $4.4 billion.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)
The new legislation also includes $50 billion for the EIDL and $10 billion for grants up to $10,000 per business. The SBA released an EIDL report on loans approved through April 19. California had 6,820 loans totaling nearly $1.5 billion.

> PPP FAQs (updated April 23)

USDA's New Relief Program Provides $2.1B for Specialty Crop Producers
USDA’s new Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will provide $19 billion in coronavirus relief funding to support farmers and ranchers, with $2.1 billion designated for specialty crop producers. Eligibility, rates and other information will be released by USDA at a later date, but Sen. John Hoeven, chair of the Senate Ag Appropriations Committee, issued a press release with more information

Producers will receive a single payment determined using two calculations:
  • Price losses that occurred Jan. 1-April 15, 2020. Producers will be compensated for 85 percent of price loss during that period.
  • Second part of the payment will be expected losses from April 15 through the next two quarters, and will cover 30 percent of expected losses.

The payment limit is $125,000 per commodity with an overall limit of $250,000 per individual or entity. Qualified commodities must have experienced a 5 percent price decrease between January and April.
USDA Releases COVID-19 Guide
NOTE: In last week’s issue of eNews, the hyperlink for the guide was not correct.

USDA recently posted 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.
Coalition Asks for Economic Relief for Craft Beverage Alcohol Producers
Wine Institute, Wine America and other members of the Craft Beverage Coalition announced a call to action to push Congress for much-needed economic relief during the pandemic. The coalition mentioned six specific actions that Congress can take – including the suspension of all federal excise tax obligations on domestic and imported alcohol products – that will help wineries, breweries and distilleries. The call to action web page has additional details, as well as a customizable email that you can send to members of Congress.
Related Resources and Articles
>California Department of Pesticide Regulation:

>California Department of Food and Agriculture:
Latest updates on its COVID-19 resources web page.


Seventeen California winery representatives discuss how their operations are doing during the pandemic. Silicon Valley Bank Executive Vice President Rob McMillan also weighs in.
Wine-Searcher, April 23

Vital plant populations such as experimental vineyards are being maintained.
Western Farm Press, April 22

Public Policy Institute of California, April 22

Q&A with Scheid (former CAWG board chair), who discusses how their wine and grape growing operation has changed operations to keep the business running and employees safe.
Wine Business, April 21

Q&A with Danny Brager of The Nielsen Company.
Forbes, April 21

LangeTwins (CAWG member) donated 3,000+ gallons of wine to a spirits producer to manufacture hand sanitizer for frontline responders and healthcare professionals.
Stockton Record, April 19

Bogle Vineyards (CAWG member) spent more than $60,000 on meals to help local restaurants and feed medical professionals.
Sacramento Bee, April 14

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TOP NEWS ITEMS
Return Ballots by May 8! Pierce's Disease Control Program Referendum
The deadline to mail in your ballots for the continuation of the valuable Pierce’s Disease Control Program is May 8. CAWG urges growers to vote yes. At least 40 percent of the eligible voters must cast ballots for the referendum to be valid.
Office Hours with Dave and Anita
WHEN: Every Tuesday starting April 28 / 2-3 p.m.
ZOOM LINK : Meeting ID 917 4033 7428 / Password 867092

With in-person extension programs postponed or canceled, a new meeting format starts next week: Office Hours with Dave and Anita. On a Zoom video call, one or more faculty members will give a brief overview of a topic they are working on, followed by a Q&A session. Suggestions for future topics can be sent to Karen Block at klblock@ucdavis.edu .

  • April 28: Dr. David Block, UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology chair, will discuss the department’s updated curriculum and what they’re doing during the shelter-in-place order.
  • May 5: Dr. Anita Oberholster, UCCE specialist in enology, and her red blotch research collaborators will present some of their data. 
Podcast: Getting to Know Your Wine Customer
The Vineyard Team’s April 16 podcast features Brandi Moody, cofounder of research firm Saage Insights. With social distancing and shelter in place orders, a “cultural reset” is changing how consumers ingest media and purchase products. Wine brands can take this time to learn what their consumer is doing online to develop promotional strategies for online content and sales incentives.

> PODCAST  (30 minutes)

WATER
EPA, Army Publish Navigable Waters Protection Rule in Federal Register
On Jan. 23, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of the Army (Army) announced its revised definition for “waters of the United States.” On April 21, the final rule was published in the Federal Register . Once effective on June 22, 2020, this final rule replaces the rule published on Oct. 22, 2019. 


> STATEMENT FROM REP. PETERSON (D-Minn., chair of House Ag Committee)
Coalition Asks Congress, Trump to Invest in Aging Western Water Infrastructure
Dozens of California ag and water organizations are part of a large coalition urging Congress and President Trump to address Western water challenges as the government considers additional economic aid during the COVID-19 pandemic. In letters to Congress and the president , they wrote, “Our organizations collectively believe that water conservation, water recycling, watershed management, conveyance, desalination, water transfers, groundwater storage and surface storage are all needed for a diversified water management portfolio and such efforts MUST be included in the next stimulus package.”

Photo: Ken James / DWR
WEBINARS

WHEN: May 7 / 10-11 a.m.
PRESENTERS: Hector Corona and Dan Castillo with Pan American Insurance Services.

Presenters will discuss how your company can update your Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) to include language relative to COVID-19 or similar pandemics.


PA ST WEBINARS



> RECORDING  of the webinar
> PDF  of alliantgroup presentation with Reed Showalter and Mike Johanns.

If you would like to follow up with Reed regarding any of the information presented, or if you have questions on qualifying activities, please contact him at ReedShowalter@alliantgroup.com



> RECORDING (enter your information to review)
> PDF of presentation by Dale Stern of Downey Brand LLP (CAWG member).

REMINDER: Each CAWG regular grower member can call Downey Brand and receive a free 30-minute consultation per calendar quarter ( more details ). Call (916) 444-1000 and tell the receptionist you are a CAWG member and you’d like to utilize your free consultation under the CAWG legal services program.

ARTICLES OF INTEREST
April issue

April issue

Wine, other industries turn their environment-friendly practices into a marketing tool. CAWG members quoted.
Western Farm Press, April 23

Nielsen reports total alcohol sales are up 26.2 percent in Nielsen off-premise channels for the week ending April 11, compared to the same week last year. Wine leads with the strongest growth rate.
Press release, April 21

The SJV has wide variability in access to surface water. PPIC examined how the mix of supplies affects solutions to end groundwater overdraft.
Public Policy Institute of California, April 21

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