April 25, 2019
Guest Workers, Labor Shortage Studied in Ag & Applied Econ Association Papers
In the latest issue of its e-magazine, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) tackles the role of guest workers in U.S agriculture. Four in-depth papers explore the history of guest workers, recent trends in the growth of H-2A employment, how the program is being used by growers, and the importance of guest workers in labor-intensive agriculture. UC Davis ag economist Dr. Philip Martin covers H-2A employment, focusing on California. One of the papers states, “From a policy-making perspective, efforts should be directed towards the development and evaluation of guest worker programs, in order to introduce more effective and efficient solutions to labor shortages.” 

Government Relations Report
AB 555 (Gonzalez, D-San Diego)  proposes to expand the state’s mandatory paid sick leave law to provide an employee with no less than 40 hours or five days of sick leave annually. Current law requires three days or 24 hours of paid sick leave annually. 
The bill is widely opposed by business groups, but is particularly problematic for ag employers. Imagine being in the last week of harvest (and the last week of employment for many of the seasonal workers), and all the seasonal workers call in sick for the last five days of harvest. These workers must be paid and no doctor’s note is needed. Unfortunately, AB 555 does not contemplate such an unintended outcome.
Many industries are opposed, but some would remove their opposition if the bill would override local requirements. This is because  19 cities or counties currently have mandatory paid sick leave ordinances . These requirements differ in the hours and days of leave that must be provided and the amount of wage that must be paid. This creates a compliance nightmare for employers with employees in several locations.
Similar legislation,  AB 2841 , was defeated in 2018, but AB 555 is  advancing  this year as industries are divided in how to deal with the bill.

-Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / 916-379-8995
New USITC Report on USMCA: Positive Impact for US Wine to Canada
The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) on April 18 released its report assessing the likely impact of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) – on the entire economy and on specific industries. The report estimates that USMCA would likely have a positive impact on U.S. trade, both with USMCA partners and with the rest of the world, and on all broad industry sectors within the U.S. economy. U.S. exports to Canada and Mexico would increase by $19.1 billion (5.9 percent) and $14.2 billion (6.7 percent), respectively.  Wine is mentioned on pages 123, 134, 135, 143 and 214. The report states that USMCA will maintain or slightly improve U.S. access to its USMCA partners’ markets for alcoholic beverages, particularly for U.S. wine exports to Canada. The agreement would allow greater access to certain retail channels in Canada for U.S. wine sales.


Ag Groups Ask USTR to Move Quickly on US-Japan Trade Deal
Nearly 90 ag groups and food companies – including Wine America, Wine Institute and the American Farm Bureau Federation – earlier this week sent a  letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer urging the administration to quickly negotiate an agreement with Japan that restores, expands and accelerates meaningful access for U.S. ag products. The letter states, “As the fourth largest market for U.S. agricultural products, improved access to Japan is imperative for the continued growth of the sector and the millions of American jobs it helps support.” U.S. and Japanese leaders and negotiators are meeting this week in D.C.
Merlot Up Again 15 Years After 'Sideways' Movie
Fifteen years ago, the movie “Sideways” featured a character that loathed merlot – and his negative remarks resulted in the Sideways Effect. A recent  article in Good Fruit Grower takes a look back at the positive and negative impact of the movie and how merlot is back on the rise. According to the 2018 California Grape Crush Report, merlot is No. 6 on the leading grape varieties list. Duckhorn Vineyards President and CEO Alex Ryan (CAWG member) is interviewed.
Federal Appeals Court Orders EPA to Make Decision on Chlorpyrifos
The U.S. EPA has 90 days to decide whether farmers can continue using chlorpyrifos. Capital Public Radio reports the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is responding to a lawsuit by environmental and farmworker groups seeking a ban on chlorpyrifos. "We are reviewing the court's order and will be taking final action on the administrative objections before the agency within 90 days," EPA spokesman James Hewitt said in a written statement. Under the Obama administration, EPA in 2015 proposed to ban chlorpyrifos, but under the Trump administration, EPA chose not to ban it. 

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April Heat Wave? Protect Workers from Heat Illness
With temperatures increasing, Cal/OSHA is  reminding employers to protect outdoor workers from heat illness. Employers are required to follow four steps: training, water, shade and planning. Visit the heat illness prevention page for numerous resources and a schedule of heat illness prevention training workshops.

Vineyards & Wine
CAWG members interviewed.
New Times SLO, April 25

There’s a push for a law that would make anything labeled as Texas wine be made entirely from Texas grapes. 
San Antonio Express News, April 25

Jeff Bitter of Allied Grape Growers is interviewed about a lobbying day, which focused on Pierce’s Disease Control Program reauthorization.
AgNet West, April 24

Could the answer to one of grape growing's worst problems be a simple application of kaolin?
Wine-Searcher, April 12
CAWG mentioned as one of many ag groups opposed to the proposal.
AgNet West, April 24
Newsom’s administration is taking unprecedented steps to combat President Trump’s efforts to ship more water to his ag allies in the San Joaquin Valley.
Sacramento Bee, April 24

Guest commentary by Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa) and Don Nottoli.
CALmatters, April 24 

The Crush - April Issue
The April issue of The Crush is now available in a full-color, digital format. This issue will not be mailed, but it can be downloaded and printed if you prefer to read it as a hard copy.

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


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

WHEN: April 29 / 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
WHERE: CDFA, 2800 Gateway Oaks Drive (Room 267), Sacramento
UC/UCCE Integrated Vineyard Management Short Course in Temecula
More than a dozen researchers will be presenting at this comprehensive seminar.

WHEN: May 8-9
WHERE: South Coast Winery, Temecula

2019 National Winegrape Policy Conference
WHEN: May 20-22
WHERE: Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C. ABOUT: Capitol visits, sessions, speakers and receptions.

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