May 2, 2019
CAWG Members Connect with Gov. Newsom's Ag Liaison, Bill Lyons, in Sonoma County
Earlier this week, CAWG directors and North Coast area growers had the opportunity to spend a day with Bill Lyons, who was  appointed agriculture liaison in the Office of the Governor in February. Lyons was secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture from 1999 to 2004. The meeting and tour were very helpful in fostering open dialogue between the governor and growers. CAWG thanks the growers and Mr. Lyons for making the time available.

CA Farmers Continue to Face Labor Shortages: CFBF-UCD Ag Labor Survey
Results from a recent survey showed that California farmers are using different “coping mechanisms” – including technology – to deal with the labor shortage, but continue to face challenges. The survey revealed 56 percent of participating farmers had been unable to hire all the employees they needed for production of their main crop at some point during the past five years. Further, 86 percent of respondents raised wages in efforts to hire enough people and 61 percent hired a farm labor contractor to recruit employees. Nearly 1,100 farmers from across the state took the survey; the 11-page report includes some participant comments in addition to data.  

Government Relations Report
Cal/OSHA is proposing an emergency regulation for outdoor workers dealing with wildfire smoke. The  Cal/OSHA Standards Board  recently granted a  petition  to prepare a draft emergency rulemaking for the board consideration no later than the board’s July meeting. 
There will an  advisory committee meeting on the emergency regulation  in Oakland on May 8. CAWG and other ag groups will participate in that meeting.  The draft regulation  has some serious problems, including but not limited to, the following: 
  • The trigger for when the regulation would kick in is very unclear. It is structured to be triggered when an air quality index (AQI) is greater than 150 and either: (A) A wildfire smoke advisory has been issued; or (B) There is a realistic possibility that employees may be exposed to wildfire smoke. Consequently, it will be difficult for an employer to know when to comply with this regulation as air quality can vary over small distances and will be influenced heavily by local weather conditions and terrain.
  • AQI is not the appropriate measure as it is intended to be a snapshot rather than a measure of exposure over time (which is usually used for occupational exposure protection).
At the  May 8 meeting , stakeholders will share our concerns with the emergency regulation, which if approved, could become the starting point for a permanent regulation later. 

-Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995
Green Medal Award Recipients Honored in Sacramento
Congratulations again to this year's honorees, who were celebrated on May 1 at a ceremony at CDFA and reception at the state Capitol.

> WATCH the four-minute video highlighting how the winners are leaders in the industry!
L-R: Jason Smith, President/CEO, Smith Family Wines (Community); Kurt Gollnick, Chief Operating Officer, Scheid Family Wines (Environment); Kellie Hoppe, Lab Technician, Domain Carneros (Business); Nate Weis, Director of Winemaking, Silver Oak Cellars (Leader)
PD/GWSS Board Recommends 2019-20 Research Funding
Article by Ted Rieger / Wine Business Monthly:  
At its  April 29 meeting , the Pierce’s Disease/Glassy-winged Sharpshooter (PD/GWSS) Board approved up to $3.6 million to fund up to 18 research projects (pending contingent requirements for some projects) related to PD, grapevine viruses and mealybugs. The board received a total of 23 research proposals for FY 2019-20 from its annual request for proposal process. Research recommendations will be forwarded to the CDFA secretary for final approval. 
EPA Calls for 'Management Measures' for Glyphosate Use, Reiterates No Risk to Human Health
The U.S. EPA this week announced its next action in reviewing glyphosate. Per a  press release , EPA continues to find that there are no risks to public health when the herbicide is used according to label directions and that glyphosate is not a carcinogen. However, to address  ecological risks , EPA is proposing management measures (spray drift, herbicide resistance – see page 35 of document below) to help farmers target sprays on the intended pest, protect pollinators and reduce the problem of weeds becoming resistant to glyphosate. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said the proposed measures “will help farmers use glyphosate in the most effective and efficient way possible, including pollinator protections.” The public will be able to submit comments on the proposed decision during a 60-day comment period once published in the Federal Register ( view here ).  

> DOCUMENT (Proposed interim registration review decision for glyphosate / April 23)
Applications Due May 10 for NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program
The Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Conservation Stewardship Program helps growers manage, maintain and improve existing conservation activities – and adopt new ones – within their ag operations. This critical program, which was reauthorized in the 2018 farm bill, specifically targets producers who are already addressing resource concerns on their farm, and it provides them with financial assistance and motivation to keep implementing those practices. 

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Assembly Committee Hearing on San Joaquin Valley Water
The California Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife on April 30 held a hearing on balancing water needs into the future in the San Joaquin Valley. Testimony by Ellen Hanak, director of the Public Policy Institute of California Water Policy Center, focused on four priority areas for action: balancing water supplies and demands, ensuring safe and reliable drinking water supplies, managing groundwater quality for the long-term, and fostering beneficial water and land use transitions. She also spoke about how the California Legislature can help with solutions to water challenges.

> HEARING PAGE (agenda, testimony and presentations)

Governor Directs CA Agencies to Collaborate on Water Resiliency Plan
Gov. Gavin Newsom wants three government agencies to prepare a comprehensive water resilience portfolio that “meets the needs of California’s communities, economy and environment through the 21st century.” Newsom’s executive order, signed on April 29, acknowledges the seriousness of the state’s water challenges and impact of climate change on water and other resources. It directs the California Natural Resources Agency, California Department of Food and Agriculture and California EPA to inventory and assess water supply and demand, water quality, anticipated impacts, and policies and programs. 

DWR Announces Draft Basin Prioritization Under SGMA for 57 Modified Basins (Public Comment Period)
The current round of basin prioritization was released in two phases: Phase one,  released on Jan. 4 , finalized prioritization for 458 basins and identified 56 basins that are required to develop groundwater sustainability plans (GSP). The draft phase two decisions,  announced on April 30 , prioritized the remaining 57 basins using the new basin boundaries defined by the 2018 Basin Boundary Modifications. Phase two identified 38 basins that are required to develop GSPs. A 30-day  public comment period closes on May 30.

  • Probationary Designation and Groundwater Regulation by the State Water Board
  • Stakeholder Inclusion
  • State and Regional Water Boards Basics
  • Funding Opportunities for Groundwater Sustainability Agencies
  • Beneficial Use and Underground Water Storage Projects
Current Conditions for Major Reservoirs
Check out the latest graph/data for California’s very full reservoirs. > WEBSITE
Vineyards & Wine
Wine writer Eric Asimov’s column includes quotes from Mike Veseth, a California winery owner and a UCD viticulture professor…and he mentions a CSWA study. 
New York Times, April 30

CAWG members interviewed about challenges dealing with tariffs.
Stockton Record, April 28
"A lot of grape growers do night applications because they are trying to minimize the exposure to people.”
UCANR, April 29

"Farmers need to engage, and need to talk about how essential pest management is."
AgriPulse, May 1
Article on regulatory process regarding outdoor workers inhaling wildfire smoke.
CalChamber, April 29
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


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