June 20, 2019
SPECIAL GUEST: Retired U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, Former Chair of Senate Ag Committee
JUNE 21 = FINAL DAY TO REGISTER! All CAWG members are invited to attend.

WHEN: June 24 / reception at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m.
WHERE: Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa

Retired Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) is the former chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. She was the first woman and the first Arkansan to serve as chair of this committee. Lincoln is touring California to discuss the value of trade for U.S. farmers, including winegrape growers. She is a staunch advocate for open markets and free trade, and now on behalf of U.S. farmers, she’s advocating for Senate ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Join us for a stimulating evening of discussion about the current state of U.S. trade policies and agricultural exports.

CAWG, Other Ag Groups Push for Swift USMCA Ratification
Hundreds of food and ag associations and companies sent a  joint letter to Congressional leaders asking for “swift ratification” of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) agreement. CAWG was one of the 960 local, state and national groups that signed the June 11 letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “USMCA builds on the success of the NAFTA agreement, and will ultimately lead to freer markets and fairer trade,” the letter states. “This modernized trade agreement makes improvements to further enhance U.S. food and agricultural exports to our neighbors and would deliver an additional $2.2 billion in U.S. economic activity.”  

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in D.C. this week meeting with Congressional leaders and President Trump about USMCA ratification.
Mexico Becomes First Country to Ratify USMCA
Mexico’s Senate on June 19 voted overwhelmingly to ratify the USMCA, making it the first of the three countries to gain legislative approval. The vote was 114 to four with three abstentions. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer praised Mexico’s vote in a statement: “The USMCA is the strongest and most advanced trade agreement ever negotiated. It is good for the United States, Mexico and Canada in a way that truly benefits our workers, farmers and businesses. The USMCA’s ratification by Mexico is a crucial step forward, and I congratulate President López Obrador and the Mexican Senate on this historic achievement.”

The day before Mexico’s vote, Lighthizer  testified before the Senate Finance Committee on the president’s trade agenda and USMCA.
Select Committees on Wine to Hold Hearing at Sonoma State
The  Senate Select Committee on California's Wine Industry  and the  Assembly Select Committee on Wine  are conducting a joint hearing at Sonoma State on June 28. Titled “Cultivating the Next Generation of Wine Industry Leaders and Emerging Markets in California,” the hearing will cover the state of wine education and research, as well as emerging markets and appellations. Testifying on behalf of CAWG, Tony Stephen of Scheid Family Wines will be part of “The State of Wine Education” panel. Stephen is chair of the board of directors for the American Vineyard Foundation and the National Grape Research Alliance, and he is heavily engaged on industry research issues. A wine tasting reception will follow the hearing. A  final agenda and livestream link will be posted soon. 

WHERE: Sonoma State University, Wine Spectator Learning Center, 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park
WHEN: June 28 / 1:30 p.m.
Government Relations Report
The regulation and oversight of pest management is again under attack in Sacramento. Environmental groups are seeking to ban specific pesticides and to diminish the role of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). Soil fumigant pesticides containing 1,3-D are the latest target.   
Products containing 1,3-D are used for pre-plant treatment of soil to control major species of nematodes, plant pathogens and other soil-borne pests that damage root structures. These products are directly injected into the soil or applied with drip irrigation systems. In California, the use of 1,3-D on more than 50 crops has been governed by an annual township allocation (commonly referred to as a township cap) since the mid-1990s. This cap is based on DPR’s risk assessment conclusions to assure that use of the product poses no significant risk. 
The application of Proposition 65 (standards for cancer warning labels) to 1,3-D products has now become the subject of litigation brought forward by a lawyer representing the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) and Californians for Pesticide Reform (CPR). Essentially, CEH and CPR are asking the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment to lower the “no significant risk level” to an amount intended to effectively ban use of the product. This is contrary to the scientific studies on safe use of the product.
CAWG is meeting with regulators and asking them to recognize the science and that farmers need a variety of tools and techniques to safely manage the many pests and diseases that threaten their crops. This is made even more challenging with the introduction and spread of invasive non-native pests and diseases. 

-Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / 916-379-8995
California Vineyards Receive CDFA SWEEP Grants
Several vineyards are among the 120 operations that CDFA has selected to receive grants from the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP). The funding for all projects totals $10.3 million. Project components can include drip systems, variable frequency drive, solar energy, and sensors or weather stations to effectively time irrigation with crop water needs. Download the  list of grant recipients showing all projects and type “vineyard” in the find option.
List of 2020 Presidential Candidates
On its website, Ballotpedia has listed 26 notable elected officials and public figures -- 24 Democrats and two Republicans – that have filed to run for president with the Federal Election Commission or announced exploratory committees. The  website provides a list of these candidates , plus links with additional candidate information. The first  Democratic presidential debate of the 2020 election, which will include 20 of those 24 Democrats, will take place on June 26 and 27 on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo. It is the first of 12 primary debates the Democratic National Committee has planned.
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UC Researcher Exploring Method to Prevent Spotted Lanternfly from Destroying CA Winegrapes
A UC Riverside (UCR) researcher is testing whether a tiny wasp can control the spotted lanternfly, which could someday threaten California winegrapes and other crops. According to a  UCR article , CDFA granted Center for Invasive Species Research Director Mark Hoddle $544,000 to test whether this parasitic wasp could be a key solution to the damaging lanternfly. Hoddle’s testing will take about three years. “We hope to be ready to release these wasps immediately when the spotted lanternfly shows up, giving us a really strong head start on the invasion,” he said in the article. A  one-minute video accompanies the article.

July 1 Deadline: Annual Water Use Reporting for 2018
The State Water Resources Control Board issued a reminder notification for claimants with a statement of water diversion and use to file their 2018 annual use report by July 1. The Division of Water Rights staff can assist with the reporting and submittal process. If you have questions, contact the Division of Water Rights at (916) 323‐9393 or  rms@waterboards.ca.gov

Winegrapes Increase in Value in Marin County
The winegrape industry in Marin County may be small, but the value is increasing. The 2018 crop was 382 tons valued at $1,223,000. That is up 37 percent over 2017 stats of 291 tons and $894,000. Acreage remained the same at 195.

Vineyards and Wine
Check out the June issue with a feature story on the award recipient.

The board met on June 17 in Sacramento.
Wine Business, June 20

June issue

June issue
The company is focusing on sustainability and reducing its environmental impact by 30 percent by 2030.
Press release, June 14

American Farm Bureau Federation, June 12
Utility to pay $1 billion in settlement funds.
Press release, June 19

The utility is nearing completion on an intensive inspection-and-repair program.
Sacramento Bee, June 19

What is Cal/OSHA doing to address the issue of employee exposure to unhealthy air quality during these occurrences?
CalChamber, June 17

Video: Recent Study Shows Benefits of Mechanized Canopy Management
New video from California Ag Net/American Vineyard Magazine: With a shrinking and more costly labor force, grape growers are searching for new ways to mechanize their vineyard operations. Luca Brillante, of the Fresno State Viticulture & Enology Department, shares some positive results of a recent study supporting greater efficiencies with vineyard mechanization. 


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