May 21, 2020
May Issue - Digital Version
The digital version of The Crush is now available via NXTBOOK. The PDF version was emailed this past Sunday.
CAWG COVID-19 Resources Webpage
Our resources webpage includes all of our COVID-19 news alerts, as well as numerous links for state, federal and ag industry resources. The page also includes a list of all county orders .
Amid Pandemic, CAWG Advocates for Growers at Federal, State Level
CAWG and the California Farm Bureau Federation on May 19 sent a  jointly signed letter  to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue urging him to allow winegrape growers access to COVID-19 assistance. The letter cites several factors contributing to growers’ current and future economic losses, and their need for relief. Grapes are currently not on the list of eligible specialty crops under  USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). CFAP is focused on assisting growers who experienced losses due to COVID-19 related interruptions in sales and commodity shipments during the March to May timeframe. However, CAWG anticipates additional rounds of assistance and is working to quantify COVID-19 related impacts affecting California winegrape growers and to share that analysis with USDA and the California congressional delegation.

CAWG continues the good fight in the state Capitol as the California Legislature considers legislation that would create more challenges in the winegrape industry. CAWG Director of Government Relations Michael Miiller testified in two recent committee hearings: 

  • May 20 - Assembly Labor and Employment Committee (view hearing video, scroll to 4:20:00 mark) 
  • May 14 - Senate Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee (view hearing video). To give you an idea of the incredible challenges we face in the Legislature, view Sen. Monning's SB 1102 remarks on H-2A guest workers (beginning at 2:35:00 mark), where at the end he concludes that essential workers "in some sectors, are considered essential, but expendable." Organizations opposing SB 1102 (CFBF, WGA, CAWG) start speaking at the 2:49:30 mark.
Government Relations Report
Last week Cal/OSHA issued new Interim General Guidelines on Protecting Workers from COVID-19. Those guidelines include the following discussion of how guidance documents affect the Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP). 

CalOSHA states, “California employers are required to establish and implement an IIPP (title 8  section 3203 ) to protect employees from workplace hazards, including infectious diseases. Employers are required to determine if COVID-19 infection is a hazard in their workplace. If it is a workplace hazard, then employers must implement infection control measures, including applicable and relevant recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) , and  Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): How to Protect Yourself & Others . For most California workplaces, adopting changes to their IIPP is mandatory since COVID-19 is widespread in the community.”
It is not clear whether the IIPP must include a specific reference to COVID-19 or instead list the workplace protective measures being implemented in response to COVID-19. Nonetheless, Cal/OSHA has indicated that the guidance may be enforceable under the requirements for an IIPP. 
Please discuss your IIPP with your human resources professional and legal counsel to determine what changes, if any, are needed to make it consistent with COVID-19 guidance from CDC, Cal/OSHA and your county health officer.  

Every year, after the governor releases the  revised budget proposal  in May, the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) then reviews that proposal and provides a report to the Legislature.  The LAO report , released this week, raises concerns relative to broad authority being sought by the governor through the budget.
In his report, Legislative Analyst Gabriel Petek states, “In a number of areas across the budget, the governor makes proposals that raise serious concerns about the Legislature’s role in future decisions.” For example, Newsom’s budget proposal calls for the creation of a $2.9 billion fund that would allow him to spend money “for any purpose related to the COVID-19 state of emergency,” by providing only 72-hour advance notice to the Legislature. 

Additionally, the budget proposal would reorganize several state agencies, giving the Legislature only four weeks to review the reorganization before the June 15 deadline to pass a budget.
Petek concludes, “We urge the Legislature to jealously guard its constitutional role and authority.” Clearly, the battle continues between Newsom and the Legislature over decision-making authority in this pandemic.

-Michael Miiller / / (916) 204-0485
Upcoming Webinar: You Did or Did Not Get a PPP Loan - Now What?
WHEN: Friday, May 29 / 9-10 a.m.
ABOUT: Moss Adams will provide a broad understanding of what cash relief options are available and alternative financing options for businesses. They will also review restarting, recovering and rising to get back to business in these unusual times.
PRESENTERS : Kirk Faris (tax senior manager) and Bill Vyenielo (senior wine industry business consultant) of Moss Adams.

County Variance Attestations
As of May 21, 42 of California’s 58 counties are now approved by the state to move more quickly through the second stage of California’s four-stage reopening process. All of these counties submitted a county variance attestation form to the California Department of Public Health showing the county has met the readiness criteria designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
> VIEW LIST OF APPROVED COUNTIES (and attestation forms)
Related Resources and Articles
>Paycheck Protection Program: FAQs updated May 19

>Conservation Service Program (USDA-NRCS): Application deadline is June 5 . $10 million to help farmers and ranchers expand stewardship activities and receive payments. The $10 million investment can also help support California rural economies during the pandemic.

CAWG members interviewed.
Monterey County Weekly, May 20

Editorial by former USDA Secretary Mike Johanns.
Agri-Pulse, May 10

With over 30 harvests, the G3 Ag Team has deep experience in winegrape hauling. Our operational expertise and agile planning combine to provide responsive service for wineries and grape growers large and small. Click on image to view video.
CAWG's preferred partner for insurance products for more than 20 years. Group workers' comp, wine industry package, federal crop insurance, employee benefits...and more. For more information: 209-955-2600 or  email .
Providing the very best California crop insurance services.
June 8 Deadline for Pierce's Disease Control Program Referendum
June 8 is the new deadline to submit your ballot. CAWG urges growers to vote YES. At least 40 percent of the eligible voters must cast ballots for the referendum to be valid. Voting results will be announced in mid-June.
Podcast: Falconry Bird Abatement
The Vineyard Team’s May 21 podcast features Jake Messinger, a master falconer and bird abatement specialist. Beginning at veraison, grapes become an appealing food for pest birds. If those birds like the fruit, the entire flock may follow. Falcons terrify pest birds and herd them away from grapes.

> PODCAST  (26 minutes)
New Videos from California AgNet, American Vineyard Magazine
>Six Ways to Improve Pesticide Sprayer Calibration/Coverage
The video features an interview with UC Cooperative Extension’s Peter Ako Larbi, who shares several considerations on how growers can improve their pesticide spray coverage in their vineyard or orchard.

>New Resources for Farmers with CIMIS
The video features an interview with California Department of Water Resources’ Steve Ewer, who discusses new features of the California Irrigation Management Information Program (CIMIS) that can help farmers better determine irrigation needs for their crops. CIMIS manages a network of more than 145 automated weather stations throughout the state.
Quick Survey on Ag Industry Hirings
UC San Diego Extension is seeking input from the ag industry to better understand which skills and credentials are most important when hiring. The information will be used to inform Central Valley community colleges so that they can better align training programs with ag industry needs. Participating counties include Calaveras, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tulare. The online survey should take no longer than 7 minutes to complete.

Napa County Reports $938M Winegrape Crop in 2019
The gross value of Napa County winegrape production was $938 million in 2019, down 9.7 percent from a record-breaking $1.04 billion in 2018. The total value was the second-highest on record. Red winegrapes: 121,100 tons; 34,824 producing acres; $828,687,600 value. White winegrapes: 38,622 tons; 9,386 producing acres; $109,274,200 value. Cabernet sauvignon had the most bearing acreage at 22,504. Cabernet franc was No. 1 in price per ton at $9,259.

Update on CAWG Awards of Excellence
CAWG Awards of Excellence recipients are typically announced this time of the year. But due to the COVID-19 situation, the cancellation of CAWG events and other factors, the CAWG board decided to postpone the 2020 awards. CAWG intends to accept nominations in 2021 and present the awards during the 2022 Unified Wine and Grape Symposium.


COVID-19: Back-to-Business
> PDF  of presentation
> PDF of back-to-business checklist
> HOTLINE : Employment and labor law hotline for CAWG members (provided by Fisher Phillips)

Updating Your Injury & Illness Prevention Plan

R&D Tax Credit - Relief for Growers

Winegrape Contracts & Enforcement


May issue

May issue

John Aguirre interviewed about USDA-ARS research funding.
AgNet West, May 20

Napa Valley Register, May 20

AgNet West, May 19

A USDA research entomologist based in Parlier is researching a way to turn sharpshooters’ sexual habits against them to dissuade them from reproducing.
KQED, May 19

Crush district boundary change (includes map). CAWG members interviewed.
North Bay Business Journal, May 18


Press release, May 19

17 / CAWG Annual Meeting Roadshow #3, Santa Rosa - CANCELLED
17 / CAWG Annual Meeting Roadshow #4, Napa - CANCELLED
23 / CAWG Foundation Golf Tournament - CANCELLED
24 / CAWG Annual Meeting Roadshow #5, Lodi - CANCELLED

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