June 18, 2020
YOUR SOURCE FOR CAWG AND INDUSTRY NEWS. FOR CAWG MEMBERS ONLY.
COVID-19 NEWS
CAWG COVID-19 Resources Webpage
Please visit our resources webpage (updated frequently) for all of our COVID-19 news alerts; state, federal and ag industry resources; webinar recordings; county orders and more.
CDC Issues Ag Employer Checklist for Creating a COVID-19 Assessment and Control Plan
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today released the   Agricultural Employer Checklist for Creating a COVID-19 Assessment and Control Plan , a companion piece to the recently released interim Guidance for Agriculture Workers and Employers .
 
Ag employers can use this CDC checklist to create a COVID-19 assessment and control plan for applying specific preparation, prevention and management measures to prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19. The checklist is divided into five sections: assessment, control plan, shared housing, transportation and children.
 
It is important to note that the Cal/OSHA guidance requires compliance with CDC guidance and checklists. Additionally, Attorney General Xavier Becerra stated this week that he is “conducting an examination of agricultural workplaces to ensure that adequate measures are being undertaken to protect the health and safety of agricultural workers.”
New Order: Californians Must Wear Face Coverings in High-Risk Situations
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today released updated guidance requiring Californians to wear a face covering in high-risk situations. According to a CDPH press release, "A growing body of scientific research has shown that people with no or few symptoms of COVID-19 can still spread the disease and that the use of face coverings, combined with physical distancing and frequent hand washing, will reduce the spread of COVID-19." 



Paycheck Protection for Producers Act Aims to Improve PPP for Farmers
Federal lawmakers on June 9 introduced bipartisan legislation ( bill text ) to expand access to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for farmers. The legislation would allow producers filing a Schedule F to use their 2019 gross income (up to $100,000) when calculating their PPP loan, rather than their net income.

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Doles Out $129M to CA Ag
As of June 15, USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) has approved $2.9 billion in payments to 220,280 producers. California has received $129.3 million of that amount (breakdown below). Winegrapes are currently not on the CFAP list of eligible specialty crops, but CAWG and other groups have been engaged in efforts to allow winegrape growers access to direct assistance.

Non-specialty: $1.8 million (272 applications)
Specialty: $15 million (503 applications)
Livestock: $25 million (1,344 applications)
Dairy: $87.5 million (538 applications)
 
> STATE-BY-STATE PAYMENT DATA (updated every Monday)
Related Resources and Articles

CalChamber: Monitoring off-duty workers (June 17)



LA Times: Tracking coronavirus in California webpage (comprehensive county-by-county statistics and trends (updated daily)

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CAWG ANNUAL MEETING
CAWG Annual Meeting Goes Virtual!
We hope you'll join us on Thursday, July 16 at 10 a.m. for CAWG's 46th Annual Business Meeting. This will be a great opportunity to hear from CAWG's leadership and an exciting lineup of industry speakers, to be announced in the coming week.
NEWS ITEMS
Government Relations Report
PD/GWSS GROWER DOLLARS ARE SAFE
You may have received information last week (from another source) inferring that winegrape grower assessment dollars for the Pierce's Disease Control Program (PDCP) are being diverted to enforcement of  Proposition 12 . This ballot measure created standards for confinement of livestock and was approved by the voters in 2018. 
 
While there is a shift of ag dollars to Proposition 12 enforcement, CAWG is happy to report that this shift does not include Pierce’s Disease/Glassy-winged Sharpshooter (PD/GWSS) funding. No PD/GWSS moneys are being diverted. ZERO. NONE.  

CAWG has confirmed with CDFA that every dollar paid by growers will be used exclusively for the PDCP. Additionally, the $5 million budget augmentation for the program, which CAWG successfully pursued in 2017, is also safe and not being touched.
 
Grower investment in this program for vital in protecting winegrapes from PD/GWSS, European grapevine moth, brown marmorated stink bug, spotted lanternfly, all mealybug pests of winegrapes, red blotch, leafroll and fanleaf virus. Grower assessment dollars will not be used for any other purpose. 

The program is up for renewal by referendum every five years. Results of the current referendum are to be announced later this week. 

H-2A LEGISLATION
As more and more growers turn to the H-2A guest worker program to address labor needs,  California Rural Legal Assistance  and United Farm Workers continue to push legislation to make it more difficult to use the program. Their efforts this year include  SB 1102  (Monning, D-Carmel), which would create a “bill of rights” for H-2A employees.
 
While most of the rights listed in SB 1102 are already disclosed to employees, the biggest problem is the hidden purpose of SB 1102, which is to create new rights. For example, the bill would change the definition of “voluntary” and “mandated” travel time, as decided by the California Supreme Court in Morillion v. Royal Packing (2000) In changing the definition, this would make travel time compensable for H-2A employees. This is a highly litigated topic and has no place in a “bill of rights.”
 
Interestingly, there are currently two H-2A travel time cases pending in court. CRLA represents plaintiffs in both cases and is pushing SB 1102 to effect the outcome of those cases.
 
Additionally, SB 1102 declares that an H-2A employee residing in employer-provided housing is a tenant under California law. This would provide H-2A employees protection from eviction. This makes no sense, since the employee’s right to the housing begins and ends with the employment relationship.


-Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / (916) 204-0485
Senate Ag Committee Hearing Set for Bipartisan Growing Climate Solutions Act
The Growing Climate Solutions Act ( S. 3894 ), introduced in the Senate this month by two Republicans and two Democrats, would create a USDA certification program to help farmers generate carbon credits through a variety of climate smart ag practices. The certification “lowers barriers to entry in the credit markets by reducing confusion and improving information for farmers looking to implement practices that capture carbon, reduce emissions, improve soil health, and make operations more sustainable.” The legislation is supported by numerous ag organizations and businesses, environmental groups and Fortune 500 companies.


> SENATE AG COMMITTEE HEARING (June 24 livestream)
Equity and Access in Agriculture: CDFA's Farmer Equity Report
The Farmer Equity Act ( AB 1348 / Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters) – signed into law in October 2017 – directed CDFA to increase support and access to resources, technical assistance and information to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in the state. The bill required CDFA to publish a Farmer Equity Report for the California Legislature, which was released on June 16. The report outlines the key challenges facing socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers and provides recommendations for CDFA to address these challenges. Last fall, CDFA launched the Farmer Resource Portal , which provides information and resources for farmers in dozens of languages.
DPR Announces New Director of Legislation and Policy
Julissa de Gonzalez was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom as director of legislation and policy for the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, effective June 8. She previously worked at Covered California and the Little Hoover Commission. She has also several years of experience with legislation, working in the offices of California Sen. Robert Hertzberg and U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer. You can reach her at (916) 445-3976 or julissa.degonzalez@cdpr.ca.gov .

WEBINARS / PODCASTS / WORKSHOPS
New Standard for Outdoor Ag Operations During Hours of Darkness
WHEN: Monday, June 22 / 10-10:45 a.m.
PRESENTER: Bryan Little, chief operating officer of FELS and director of labor affairs at the California Farm Bureau Federation.
DETAILS: The webinar will 1) review compliance issues and their significance for all ag night work and 2) explain the new requirements for task lighting, high-visibility garments, and other aspects of night work safety and how they apply to your operations.
HOSTS: CAWG, Farm Employers Labor Service and California Farm Labor Contractor Association.


Split-Roll Property Tax Measure
WHEN: Wednesday, June 24 / 10-11 a.m.
PRESENTERS: Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable, and Anthony Russo, a partner at Russo McGarty & Associates.
DETAILS: Learn more about the split-roll property tax measure that will appear on the November 2020 statewide ballot. The measure will remove Proposition 13 protections for California farmers. It would be the largest property tax increase in the state’s history.

Podcast:
Wine Production During COVID-19
The Vineyard Team’s June 18 podcast features representatives from three California wineries – Effort Wines, Presqu'ile Winery and Niner Wine Estates – who discuss how they are adapting to a new way of doing business during the pandemic.

> PODCAST  (27 minutes)
Napa County RCD Irrigation Water Management Online Workshop
WHEN: June 24 and 26 / 8-11 a.m.
DETAILS: Several speakers, including growers, will cover various topics: soil properties, soil moisture, evapotranspiration, water stress and technologies.


WATER / WEATHER
Drought Monitor Map
As of June 16, Northern California and Central Valley drought conditions range from abnormally dry to extreme drought. The Central Coast and Southern California are designated “none.” Read a drought summary for the West and see statistics comparing current conditions with conditions at this time last year.
ARTICLES OF INTEREST
VINEYARDS & WINE

June issue

June issue

AGRICULTURE

Two California ag industry representatives are among the 33 appointees.
EPA, June 17

NRCS, June 16

CALENDAR
JUNE

JULY
16 / CAWG 46th Annual Meeting - ONLINE
20 / CAWG Regional & Board of Directors dinner, Santa Rosa - CANCELED
21 / CAWG Board of Directors meeting - ONLINE