May 9, 2019
Government Relations Report
This week the  Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) announced  it will initiate a process to cancel its authorization of chlorpyrifos for use in California. This unprecedented step will result in chlorpyrifos being banned in California within six months to two years.
Corteva Agriscience, manufacturer of chlorpyrifos, replied to the announcement via a written statement: “We are disappointed in this proposal that would remove an important tool for farmers and undermines the highly effective system for regulating pesticides that has been in place at the federal level and in the state of California for decades.”
Additionally, the Newsom administration committed $5.7 million to study alternative pest management methods and provide assistance to farmers as they transition away from chlorpyrifos. CDFA and DPR will convene a new working group to identify, evaluate and recommend alternatives. This could ultimately result in approval of a new product to replace chlorpyrifos. 
CAWG looks forward to working with the Newsom administration to identify and develop alternatives to chlorpyrifos. Farmers need a variety of tools and techniques to manage the many pests and diseases that threaten their crops, which is made even more challenging with the introduction and spread of invasive non-native pests and diseases.
DPR’s decision would seem to make moot  SB 458  (Durazo, D-Los Angeles), which proposes to ban chlorpyrifos effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Wildfires have become a constant threat in California as Cal Fire reports that fire season is now a year-round reality. This week Cal/OSHA convened an  advisory meeting  on the development of “an emergency rulemaking proposal addressing worker exposure to wildfire smoke.”
On the surface,  the proposal  seems noncontroversial. It essentially requires employers to provide N95 respirators for voluntary use when there is unhealthy air quality from wildfire smoke. The problems, though, are in the details:
  • How does a grower determine if there is unhealthy air quality at the worksite?
  • Should a grower encourage the use of the respirator on a case-by-case basis? (The regulation requires employers to “encourage” workers to use the respirators without a fit test or medical evaluation.)
  • How does an employer communicate potential risks to the workers?
  • What type of training should be provided?
CAWG raised these issues at the stakeholder meeting. The above questions are important as failure to comply with the regulation could result in substantial penalties even when employer’s errors are minor, without harm, and unintentional.
CAWG and other ag groups are seeking solutions that allow for the safe use of respirators when needed without exposing growers to needless penalties and frivolous litigation. 

-Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995
CA Ag Industry Leader Testifies Before Subcommittee About Specialty Crops
Dan Sutton, president of the Pismo Oceano Vegetable Exchange, testified today before the House Ag Committee Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management about California’s specialty crop industry. He spoke about the significant value of specialty crops, as well as the three greatest production challenges growers face – water, labor and food safety. California Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) is a member of the subcommittee. S ubcommittee ranking member Rep. Glenn Thompson said, “Today’s testimony makes it clear that farmers and ranchers…have been struggling for nearly six straight years. While there are many factors outside of Congress’ control affecting our farmers and ranchers, we have an opportunity to approve USMCA and pass meaningful relief to provide producers much-needed certainty. There were 369 members who voted in favor of the 2018 farm bill, but showing support for rural America isn’t just something we do every five years, it should always be at the forefront of policy debates,” 

20th Anniversary of Congressional Wine Caucus
The bipartisan Congressional Wine Caucus was founded in 1999 by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Napa) and former Rep. George Radanovich (D-Mariposa). Its goals focus on educating members of Congress about the challenges of grape growing and winemaking, getting involved in legislative and regulatory issues impacting the industry, and promoting the industry. Last week, Thompson announced that Rep. Dan Newhouse (D-WA) will serve as the new co-chair for the caucus. The caucus has 117 members, 29 from California. The San Francisco Chronicle recently interviewed Thompson and Newhouse in an article and  podcast .
Ben Drake Posthumously Inducted into Temecula Winegrowers Hall of Fame
The late Ben Drake, longtime board member and president of the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association, is the newest inductee of the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Hall of Fame. A ceremony was held on April 18 at South Coast Winery. “Ben’s long service as a member and chairman of CAWG, and his service as a statewide leader in the fight against Pierce’s disease brought recognition and respect to our valley,” stated Phil Baily. “To many in our industry, Ben was Temecula. He was one of the three or four key players who did the most to grow the reputation of the Temecula Valley Wine Country.”

'Wine Country' Debuts May 10 on Netflix
"Wine Country," the Amy Poehler-Tina Fey movie about a girls’ weekend in Napa Valley, debuts on May 10. Whether reviews are good or bad, it may be worth watching for the scenery (Calistoga, Napa Valley and other locations) and their wine tasting adventures! 

> ARTICLE : What ‘Wine Country’ gets right (and wrong) about wine tasting in Napa Valley

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It's California Wildfire Preparedness Week -- Are You Ready?
proclamation was issued this week by Gov. Gavin Newsom declaring May 5-11 as Wildfire Preparedness Week, which stresses the importance of being prepared for potential wildfires. It’s especially critical for a quarter of the state’s population living in high fire-risk areas. California has experienced 10 of the most destructive wildfires in the state’s history in the past four years. In conjunction with the official week, Cal Fire is educating residents about wildfire dangers and the steps they should take to protect lives, homes and land. Check out the  Cal Fire website for an interactive checklist, guides, posters, videos and a helpful app. 
DWR: 'Cities and Farms Can Expect Ample Water Supplies This Summer'
Officials on May 2 measured California's snowpack for the fifth and final time this year at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada. The manual survey at the site recorded 47 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent (SWE) of 27.5 inches, which is 188 percent of average for this location. Statewide, the Sierra snowpack is 31 inches of SWE, which is 144 percent of average for this date. DWR said that the 2019 snowpack is the fifth largest on record, and the snowpack will continue to produce run-off into late summer.

USDA-ERS: Average Age of Farm Laborers is Rising
Report summary: The average age of hired farm laborers has risen 8 percent – from 35.8 years in 2006 to 38.8 years in 2017. The increase has been entirely driven by the aging of foreign-born farm laborers, who made up between 54 and 58 percent of the workforce over this period. Their average age rose 16 percent, from 35.7 in 2006 to 41.6 in 2017. The main reason for the increase has been the decline (starting in 2008) in the flow of new immigrants, who tend to be younger. An increase in the use of mechanical aids may enable workers to prolong their careers, and may also make it easier for more women to work in agriculture. 

> REPORT ON FARM LABOR (with data)

Vineyards & Wine
CAWG president John Aguirre and CAWG members Steve Fredricks, Jeff Bitter and Stuart Spencer quoted.
Western Farm Press, May 8
Leaders urge lawmakers, regulators to keep grape farming a “viable option.” CAWG member Jeff Bitter interviewed.
Western Farm Press, May 8

Is it a financially viable option to rogue infected vines?
Good Fruit Grower, May 2

Vintners hope new appellation will provide clarity for consumers
Wine-Searcher, May 7

May issue
Hope to See You at the Jazz & Wine Fest on May 16!
Thank you to events hosts: Bill and Triana Berryhill, Colligere Farm Management, Cotta Vineyards, Goehring Vineyards, LangeTwins, Pauli Ranch, Robert Lauchland Vineyards, Olagaray Brothers and Vino Farms.

WHEN: May 16 / 5:30-8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Oak Farm Vineyards, 23627 N. Devries, Lodi
QUESTIONS: C ontact the CAWG office at 916-379-8995 or


CAWG Summer Conference in Sonoma Valley -- Registration is Open!
We are looking forward to this year’s conference at the beautiful Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa.

JUNE 24 : CAWG board of directors meeting.

JUNE 25: CAWG Summer Conference . CAWG is putting together an excellent lineup of speakers who will educate and inform on important current topics affecting our industry. CAWG’s annual business meeting will follow. 

JUNE 25: Eighth annual Awards of Excellence Program: includes reception, dinner and awards ceremony for CAWG Grower of the Year and Leader of the Year.

JUNE 26: Inaugural CAWG Foundation Golf Tournament at the Sonoma Golf Club (8:30 a.m. shotgun start), followed by an awards ceremony and reception.

REGISTRATION / SPONSORSHIPS: Registration and additional details are available on the CAWG website . Please contact the CAWG office at 916-379-8995 or if you are interested in sponsorship opportunities. 

HOTEL: CAWG has negotiated discounted room rates (per night) for four levels at $309 (regular room), $359 (deluxe room), $499 (junior suite) and $549 (mission suite). To reserve one of these, contact the Fairmont at 707-938-9000 by Thursday, May 23 .

Variable Rate Canopy Management and Trunk Suckering Demo at Oakville
WHEN: Friday, May 10 / 9-11 a.m.
WHERE: Oakville Research Station, 1380 Oakville Grade Road
DETAILS: Mechanical canopy management and trunk suckering demonstration: how to capture vineyard variability via canopy reflectance, turn it into useful knowledge, then manage canopies at a variable rate.

NO COST to attend. Just show up!
El Dorado Wine Grape Growers Association -- Powdery Mildew Prevention and Control
WHEN: May 15
WHERE: Veteran's Hall, 130 Placerville Dr., Placerville
SPEAKER: Justin Guadagnolo, PCA, Mid Valley Ag Services

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