Your source for CAWG and industry news
June 1, 2017
CALENDAR

July 11
CAWG PAC fundraiser, Goehring Vineyards, Inc., Lodi

July 17
CAWG PAC Golf Tournament, Napa

July 17
CAWG Awards of Excellence Program and Dinner, Napa

July 18
CAWG Summer Conference, Napa

July 19
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Napa

 
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THE FRONT PAGE 
Agricultural Worker Program Act Introduced in House
 
In the May 3 issue of eNews, we reported that Sen. Dianne Feinstein and colleagues introduced a bill ( S. 1034 ) that would protect undocumented farmworkers from deportation and put them on a path to earned legal status and citizenship. Last week, Rep. Luis GutiĆ©rrez (D-Ill.) and 29 House Democrats introduced a companion bill, the Agricultural Worker Program Act ( H.R. 2690 ). Eleven of the bill's cosponsors are from California. According to a press release, the bill would create a program that would allow agricultural workers and their families to apply for a "blue card" that gives them legal status and work authorization if they show consistent employment in U.S. agriculture over the past two years, pay a fine and pass a background check. A 3- to 5-year path to citizenship is provided to those who continue to work in agriculture for the requisite amount of time.
 


Government Relations Capitol Report
 
SB 252: BILL PASSED BY SENATE, STILL CHANCE FOR DEFEAT

SB 252 (Dodd, D-Napa) would create a de facto moratorium on the drilling of any new water wells in critically overdrafted basins. There are currently 21 such basins in 12 Central Valley and Central Coast counties. This bill would create an unprecedented state mandate on local management of water basins, threaten property rights and hinder local ground water management efforts. Consequently, SB 252 is opposed by a coalition of 32 business and agricultural organizations. 
 
Dozens of CAWG members contacted senators this week and expressed their vehement opposition to SB 252. However, the bill was approved on May 30 by the Senate. CAWG and the coalition will continue to oppose SB 252 in the Assembly. There is still hope for defeating this bill as similar legislation - SB 1317 (Wolk, D-Davis) - was held last year in the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife. Thank you to all CAWG growers who expressed your opposition to this terrible bill. 

-- Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / 916-379-8995


Reminder for Ag Employers: Day of Rest Rules
 
The California Supreme Court last month issued its opinion in Mendoza v. Nordstrom, which clarified several issues regarding the state's "day of rest" statutes. The rule entitles employees to one day of rest each workweek and prohibits employers to "cause" workers to work more than six in seven days. Downey Brand LLP and the California Chamber of Commerce posted detailed information about this statute on their websites. Downey Brand stated, " Agricultural employers in particular should take note of this decision because AB 1066 recently removed the exemption from the day of rest rules long enjoyed by the agricultural industry. Though the effective date for the elimination of the agricultural exemption is ambiguous until Wage Order 14 is revised, the safest course of action for agricultural employers is to comply immediately with day of rest requirements."
 
 


Senate Democrats Concerned Over Trump's Cuts to Rural Development
 
A group of 29 Senate Democrats signed on to a letter to President Trump this week expressing their concerns about his proposed budget cuts that would reduce or eliminate rural development programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Objecting to the proposed cuts, the senators claim that "if enacted, these cuts would have a damaging impact on rural communities throughout the country" and "hinder the ability of rural America to see economic growth and development." In the letter, the senators stated their support of the establishment of an undersecretary for trade, but urged Trump to not eliminate the undersecretary for rural development.
 
> LETTER


Regulations: New Transgender, Restroom Rules Coming July 1
 
The California Chamber of Commerce reports that new regulations have been approved by the California Office of Administrative Law  that specifically address equal access to restrooms and similar facilities. The regulations also address signage for restrooms. For example, employers with a single occupancy facility in their business establishment must use gender-neutral signage such as "restroom," "all-gender" or "gender neutral." These regulations are effective on July 1, 2017. 
 
 

INDUSTRY ARTICLES

The president announced today that he will withdraw the U.S. from participation in the Paris climate accord, weakening global efforts to combat climate change and siding with conservatives who argued that the landmark 2015 agreement was harming the economy.
New York Times, June 1
 
Pathogen identified on Central Coast; fungicides must be applied before exposure.
Wines & Vines, May 30
 
Hearing testimony from economists, lawmakers use farm bill hearing to push back on proposed USDA budget cuts. Crop insurance was a top issue.
DTN The Progressive Farmer, May 26
 
Opening remarks from Sen. Pat Roberts before the hearing, "Examining the Farm Economy: Perspectives on Rural America."
May 26
 
To keep crops from rotting in the field, farmers say they need Trump to let in more temporary workers. According to the article, more than 11,000 guest workers worked in California agriculture in 2016.
Los Angeles Times, May 25
 
Industry leaders say annual report is necessary, hope budget will be reworked.
Wines & Vines, May 24
 
Brad Goehring is interviewed - in his vineyard and shop - about the farmworker shortage.
CBS13/Sacramento, May 24


WATER NEWS
House Leaders Want Answers Regarding Duarte-Clean Water Act Case 
 
Last week, Republicans who head the House agriculture and judiciary committees asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to evaluate and clarify the government's case against John Duarte regarding alleged Clean Water Act violations. They are seeking answers about possible Department of Justice overreach. " The prosecution of Mr. Duarte raises concerns that the Congressional intent behind the farming exemptions in the statute is misunderstood," wrote Reps. Michael Conaway (R-Texas) and Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) in the letter to Sessions. According to a Record Searchlight article,  Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.), who represents Tehama County, asked for the letter to be sent because he was worried about the case setting a new precedent that would put farmers at risk of high fines.
 
 
 

Water Articles and Resources

CAWG FOUNDATION
2017 CAWG Foundation Scholarship Recipients: Read Their Stories
 
Scholarship applicants were required to write a 500-word essay about their lives, achievements and goals. Excerpts from their powerful and inspiring essays were included in a press release issued yesterday by the CAWG Foundation. 

Thank you again to CAWG members and the California wine community for your generous contributions to help these students achieve their dreams of a college education. 
 


RESOURCES
"DNA Fingerprinting" for Winegrapes

UC Davis' Foundation Plant Services (FPS) provides variety identification for winegrapes using "DNA fingerprinting" technology. It is available to grape growers, wine makers, nursery managers and other industry representatives. FPS offers DNA identification of grape varieties, which determines or confirms the varietal identity of a particular grapevine.  It also offers DNA profiling of grape varieties, which provides a unique DNA profile (DNA fingerprint) of the tested selection. Varieties are identified by comparing the DNA profile of a client's sample to FPS' Grape DNA Identification Reference Database, which contains DNA profiles of hundreds of grape varieties from major grape growing regions around the world. Visit the website to find out costs and how to submit samples.
 


UCCE Vit Tips Newsletter

The spring 2017 issue of the San Joaquin Valley Viticulture Newsletter is available online. Articles include:
 
-Evaluation of sprayable pheromone for vine mealybug in grapes
-UCCE advisor Lindsay Jordan's departure
-Resident vegetation vs. weeds: When weeds are in your vineyard crop
-Wet spring fungal diseases


CAWG EVENTS AND PROGRAMS



SIX WEEKS AWAY! REGISTER TODAY!
2017 CAWG Summer Conference in Napa
 
JULY 17-19 /  SILVERADO RESORT AND GOLF COURSE
  • CAWG PAC Golf Tournament
  • CAWG Awards of Excellence Program
  • CAWG Summer Conference (speaker program and annual business meeting)
  • CAWG board of directors meeting
REGISTRATION, SPONSORSHIPS AND HOTEL
Details about the conference speakers, registration, sponsorship opportunities and hotel reservations are posted on the CAWG website.

UPCOMING EVENTS
2017 Viticultural Research Roadshow
WHEN: June 7 / 1-5 p.m.
WHERE: FEOC Nielsen Conference Center, Fresno
Hosted by: San Joaquin Valley Winegrowers Association, UC Cooperative Extension and CSWA
 
Presentations will focus on vine trunk disease, mechanized pruning, water recharge, rootstock trials, vine mealybug, UAV spraying, pinot grigio crop load management and cane vs. spur pruning.
 


CSWA Sustainable Winegrowing Workshop

WHEN: June 16 / 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
WHERE: Robert Mondavi Institute S ensory Theater, UC Davis
 
Learn about programs and resources, including CSWA's new economic tools that can be used to assess the costs and benefits of adopting specific practices, including a trunk disease prevention tool and certification cost tool.  
 

 
 
Lodi Vineyard & Wine Economics Symposium
WHEN: June 29 / 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: Wine & Roses Conference Center, Lodi
 
Program features wine experts and influencers active in shaping the future of the wine business in Lodi and surrounding regions.
 


NEW: 2017 Forbes AgTech Summit
WHEN: June 28-29
WHERE: Salinas

Silicon Valley and global agriculture converge to tackle critical challenges and showcase the latest innovations for farmers, investors and stakeholders of global food systems.