May 7, 2020
YOUR SOURCE FOR CAWG AND INDUSTRY NEWS. FOR CAWG MEMBERS ONLY.
PIERCE'S DISEASE CONTROL PROGRAM REFERENDUM
Ballot Deadline Extended to June 8 Please vote YES!
On May 8, CDFA will issue a duplicate ballot to all growers who have not yet voted. The new deadline to submit your ballot is June 8. CAWG urges growers to vote YES. At least 40 percent of the eligible voters must cast ballots for the referendum to be valid.

COVID-19 NEWS
CAWG COVID-19 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. The page also includes a list of all county orders (updated May 7).
EIDL Loans Now Available for Ag Businesses
Eligible ag businesses with 500 or fewer employees can now apply for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance programs. The Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act , signed into law by President Trump last week, provided additional funding for farmers and ranchers and certain other ag businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. SBA is reopening the application portal ONLY to ag enterprises due to funding limitations and the unprecedented number of applications already received.

Government Relations Report
CAN WE HAVE A LITTLE MORE TIME?
While California businesses are reeling from the historic challenges of the COVID-19 global pandemic, trial lawyer driven litigation and the relentless machinery of rulemaking continues to operate without pause. However, COVID-19 restrictions and physical distancing requirements prevent the public from fully participating in trial hearings and regulatory proceedings.
 
That is why CAWG has joined business groups in seeking relief. 
 
In the regulatory arena, CAWG has asked that all pending proposed regulations be put on hold. Regulations have a broad and long-term effect past the pandemic. It is critical that such proposed regulations get a full public vetting and the process recognize that the regulated community (businesses) doesn’t have the luxury of putting aside the realities of dealing with COVID-19 to examine and reply to a proposed regulation. 
 
CAWG has also asked the courts to provide additional time for defendants to reply to litigation. Shake-down lawsuits are an unfortunate reality for every California industry. This could be in the form of an unfounded or frivolous suit dealing with environmental issues, land use, wage and hour claims and much more. Defendants need time to gather the facts and provide an informed legal response. The COVID-19 situation creates incredible challenges in that process.
 
The need for more time in both of these situations seems clear, and CAWG will continue to push for this on behalf of our grower members and associate members.

WORKERS’ COMP FOR COVID-19 
Gov. Newsom this week announced by executive order that employees who have contracted COVID-19 are presumed to have contracted the virus at work, and are therefore covered for workers' compensation. This applies only to any worker who is working outside the home at the direction of the employer. 
 
An employee will need to show positive test results and must also have worked in that time period. Employers have only 30 days to deny a claim.  The order is effective from March 19, 2020 to June 5, 2020.
 
Sadly, the costs of this will be borne by employers through increased premiums and increased risk for those who self-insure or use captive insurance or other shared-risk arrangements. This appears to be headed to court as the governor’s authority to create new law by executive order is subject to legal challenge.
 
A key statement from the Chamber of Commerce in response to the order echoes what CAWG has been saying at every opportunity in the Newsom administration and in the California Legislature: “The private sector did not cause this crisis and it should not be the safety net used to pay for this crisis – that is the role of government.”
 
CAWG will continue reminding anyone who will listen that we are all suffering and the costs of the pandemic should not be on the backs of business people who are struggling to stay afloat.
 
-Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / (916) 204-0485
California Enters Stage 2 Effective May 8
Starting tomorrow, California will begin moving into the second stage of modifying the stay-at-home order. The governor announced guidelines for retailers, manufacturers and warehouses during today’s press briefing.


CFBF Survey Shows Lost Sales, Income
The California Farm Bureau Federation and Farm Employers Labor Service in April conducted a survey of farmers and ranchers to measure the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. Some of the results include:

  • 57 percent had lost customers or sales due to COVID-19.
  • 76 percent had been able to maintain operations so far.
  • 75 percent had been able to avoid furloughing or laying off employees.
  • 57 percent had applied or intended to apply for relief through the SBA, USDA or other avenues.

Related Resources and Articles
>Payroll Protection Program: FAQs updated May 6

>California Department of Pesticide Regulation: Compliance with PPE requirements for pesticides during COVID-19 emergency (April 29)


>Turrentine Market Update: May 5 issue includes article on COVID-19 impacts

County of Monterey, May 7

The Press Democrat, May 6

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TOP NEWS ITEMS
California Grape Acreage Report - 2019 Summary
California's 2019 grape acreage totaled 918,000 acres, down from 925,000 in 2018, according to results from an annual government acreage survey. The winegrape acreage is estimated at 635,000 acres -- 590,000 bearing and 45,000 non-bearing. In comparison, winegrape acreage was 637,000 in 2018 and 599,000 in 2017. The top two winegrape varieties were chardonnay (89,357 bearing) and cabernet sauvignon 90,283 (bearing). > SUMMARY

CDFA and USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service conducted the acreage survey by mailing a questionnaire in October 2019 to approximately 8,900 grape growers, followed by phone calls and site visits.
Powdery Mildew Index and UCCE Vit Tips Newsletter
The UC IPM is currently redesigning its website to a more mobile friendly version, so the new grape powdery mildew risk assessment index is available here . It includes Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Fresno, Lake, Madera and San Joaquin.

UCCE’s April edition of Vit Tips—San Joaquin Valley features articles by farm advisors on fungicide resistance, phylloxera and early season management.
It's California Wildfire Preparedness Week
Are Your Ready?
Being prepared for potential wildfires is critical, especially if you live in a high fire-risk area. May 3-9 is Wildfire Preparedness Week ( governor’s proclamation ) and CAL FIRE is educating residents about steps to protect families, homes and land. The CAL FIRE website has an incredible amount of helpful resources: web-based app, interactive checklist, guides, videos and more. You can also take a survey to see if your home is prepared.

PG&E today announced that customers who live or work in high fire-threat areas from the Sierra Nevada to the coast will be contacted multiple times before the company initiates a Public Safety Power Shutoff due to hot temperatures, high winds and dry vegetation. It is crucial that PG&E has your updated contact information , so visit  pge.com/mywildfirealerts  or call the PG&E contact center at 1-866-743-6589.
Podcast: Sustainability An Advantage in Any Market
The Vineyard Team’s May 7 podcast features CAWG officer Gregg Hibbits of Mesa Vineyard Management. In the currently oversupplied market, sustainability is an advantage. Gregg explains how their dedication to sustainability for more than 30 years has attracted like-minded customers. He believes that authenticity around how they farm, what they deliver and how they take care of people and the planet will pay off in the future.

> PODCAST  (24 minutes)
Application Deadline Extended to May 11 for Ag Leadership Program
The Class 51 phase one application deadline has been extended to May 11 due to the COVID-19 situation. Dozens of CAWG member employees -- including board officers Mike Testa and Jeff Bitter -- are alumni. Tyler Blackney of Wine Institute is currently in the program as a Class 50 fellow.


Call for Applications
Applications are due July 15 for the prestigious California Leopold Conservation Award, which honors private landowners who demonstrate outstanding stewardship and management of natural resources. The award recipient receives a prize of $10,000. Nomination applications focus on the categories of conservation ethic, ecological community, innovation and adaptability, leadership and communication, and resilience.


WEBINARS
COVID-19: Back to Basics Checklist

WHEN: May 15 / 9-10 a.m.
PRESENTERS: Collin Cook and Brandon Kahoush with Fisher Phillips, LLP.

As the state moves to stage two of modifying the stay at home order, it is now time to assess your operation to ensure that considerations are in place for employees to return and business to be conducted. With these next steps comes a whole new set of labor and employment challenges.


Update/COVID-19 Actions in Sacramento

> RECORDING of the webinar 
> PDF of presentation by Michael Miiller, CAWG; Jackson Gualco, The Gualco Group; and Katie Hansen, California Restaurant Association.


Updating Your IIPP

> RECORDING of the webinar 
> PDF of IIPP presentation by Hector Corona and Dan Castillo with Pan American Insurance Services.


R &D Tax Credit - Relief for Growers

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


Winegrape Contracts & Enforcement

> RECORDING of the webinar
> PDF of presentation by Dale Stern of Downey Brand.

REMINDER: Each CAWG regular grower member can call Downey Brand and receive a free 30-minute consultation per calendar quarter ( more details ).

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 - Webinar

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