Your source for CAWG and industry news
 July 19, 2018

August 8
CAWG Annual Dinner and Winegrape Night Harvest, Clarksburg

November 7-8
CAWG Board of Directors meeting and CAWG PAC event, Santa Ynez

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The CAWG board of directors (pictured below) and staff wish to thank  everyone who attended and supported our conference and golf tournament at the Silverado Resort and Spa. We always enjoy seeing our members and industry friends come together for a couple of days. Additional details will appear in the August issue of The Crush. Please visit our Facebook page for additional photos.

2018 Grower of the Year
Steve Schafer
Steve (center) with family members.

2018 Leader of the Year
Karissa Kruse
Karissa (front, far left) with co-workers, board members and family.

Speaker Program
Many thanks to all of the excellent presenters and moderators who were a part of the CAWG Speaker Program! Pat Roney (pictured), president and founding partner of Vintage Wine Estates, was the keynote speaker.

Visit our Facebook page for photos of all speakers:

Our Generous Sponsors


New Ag Guestworker Bill Introduced
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and several other representatives yesterday introduced the bipartisan AG and Legal Workforce Act. It replaces the outdated and broken H-2A agricultural guestworker program with a new, workable agricultural guestworker program, known as the H-2C program. > PRESS RELEASE
STATEMENT FROM CAWG: Yesterday's introduction of the AG and Legal Workforce Act is an important development in the long running, divisive debate over immigration policy. CAWG urges the House of Representatives to quickly bring H.R. 6417 to the floor for a vote. We must overcome the deep divisions that have hobbled progress on immigration legislation and deliver a sensible agricultural guestworker bill. We believe H.R. 6417 represents meaningful progress toward that important goal.

Farm Bill Making Progress in House, Senate
The House of Representatives on July 18 moved to send the farm bill to conference committee and also put together a team of legislators (conferees) who will work out differences between the House and Senate bills. Two Californians were selected to serve on committees: Ed Royce (R-Fullerton), House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Jeff Denham (R-Turlock), Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Senate Ag Committee leaders, who want to move quickly, said "the conference committee must put politics aside and focus on the needs of our farmers, families and rural communities."

Farm Bill Friday

Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) posted a supportive farm bill video, shot at his Northern California farm. July 13

Wildfire and Hurricane Recovery: $2 Billion Available
Farmers and ranchers affected by wildfires in 2017 can now apply for financial assistance to help recover and rebuild their farming operations. Signups began on July 16 and will continue through Nov. 16. Ag production losses due to conditions caused by the wildfires could qualify for assistance. USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said, "We are making immediate, initial payments of up to 50 percent of the calculated assistance so producers can pay their bills."
Pan American provided key information:
--Application must be completed at your county FSA office; no online applications are available.
--Growers who sign up and are approved must purchase crop insurance or NAP coverage for the next two consecutive crop years.
--Growers with existing crop insurance or NAP coverage will receive higher payments. Growers with no coverage will still be eligible to receive program assistance. 
--There are two payment limitations:
>$125,000 for growers whose adjusted gross income derived from farming is under 75 percent.
>$900,000 for growers whose adjusted gross income derived from farming is 75 percent or greater. To qualify for anything above $125,000, the farming entity must supply a certification from a CPA or attorney.
Additional information on the WHIP program can be found at or by contacting your local USDA Farm Service Agency.

Government Relations Report
Political strategists believe that as voters review ballot measures, fatigue sets in quickly when they attempt to digest all of the information. Consequently, propositions at the top of the ballot have a better chance of passing than those at the bottom. 
Taking advantage of this, the California Legislature passed a law several years ago providing that bond measures will be placed at the top, thereby increasing the chance of bonds being approved. This November, Propositions 1 through 4 propose $14.4 billion in bond spending for Veterans, housing, water, and children's hospitals. However, the next two propositions save more than $50 billion in tax dollars. 
Proposition 5 makes it easier for older home owners to transfer property tax assessments. It is supported by seniors and the California Association of Realtors.
Gov. Brown and legislative leaders are most concerned though with Proposition 6, which would repeal the gas tax. Proposition 6 also requires voter approval to increase gas taxes in the future.
Propositions 5 and 6 are polling very well and could challenge the axiom that propositions at the top fare better than those down ballot.

-- Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995  

DPR Report Shows Pesticides at Safe Levels
Air monitoring results released this week from DPR show that all of the monitored pesticides were found below levels that indicate a health concern. In 2017 DPR monitored 31 pesticides and five breakdown products in Shafter, Santa Maria, Watsonville and Chualar. Out of the 36 pesticides monitored, nine were not detected, 17 were only detected at trace levels and 10 (including 1,3-D and chlorpyrifos) were detected at quantifiable levels. Of the nearly 7,396 analyses, 93 percent had no detectable concentrations. 

Californians Won't Vote on Splitting Up the State After All
The California Supreme Court on Wednesday voted unanimously to remove the ballot measure that proposed to split California into three states. The court wrote that " significant questions have been raised regarding the proposition's validity...and we conclude that the potential harm in permitting the measure to remain on the ballot outweighs the potential harm in delaying the proposition to a future election." The court directed California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to refrain from placing Proposition 9 on the November ballot.

Growers and winemakers maintain an optimistic view; larger wineries sitting on full inventories.
Wines & Vines, July 17
The awards honor Randy Heinzen (Winegrape Grower of the Year), John Munch (Winemaker of the Year), and Archie McLaren (Wine Industry Person of the Year, posthumously).
Press release, July 12

California wine is moving out in small increments, putting some pressure on wineries wanting to clear tank space as harvest approaches.
Western Farm Press, July 11

DWR Seeks Comments on Updated Analysis for California WaterFix
DWR is accepting comments on its newly-released Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for California WaterFix. The document analyzes several proposed changes designed to reduce the project's footprint and costs, and minimize impacts on environmental resources in the Delta, including wetlands and other water resources. Comments can be submitted through Sept. 17. 

Articles and Resources
Water agencies, farm organizations and other groups organized opposition to the final draft plan from the State Water Board.
Ag Alert, July 18
The just-formed Delta Conveyance Finance Authority, led by the regional water agencies backing the tunnels project, is expected to start the application process for a $1.6 billion federal water infrastructure loan administered by the U.S. EPA.
Sacramento Bee, July 17

Listen and Learn from Vineyard Team Podcasts
The Vineyard Team, based in Atascadero, provides  educational podcasts on a number of industry issues to help growers. The following podcasts were posted in July:
>The Fight Against Pierce's Disease: featuring Steve McIntyre.
>PG&E Rebates and Incentive Programs: a PG&E rep discusses programs to help growers be more efficient.
>Saving Water, Energy and Money: a PG&E rep discusses electricity use on farms, especially when it comes to irrigation.

2018 Fresno State Grape Day

An informal workshop and field day at Fresno State for grape growers, managers, winemakers and winery personnel. Includes lab and winery tour, plus Fresno State wine tasting. Pre-register by July 30.
WHEN: Aug. 7 / 7 a.m. - 1 p.m.
COST: $20

CSWA: Sustainable Winegrowing Workshop for Ag Professionals

WHEN: July 24 / 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
WHERE: UC Davis Robert Mondavi Institute Sensory Theatre, Davis
Risk Mitigation in the Vineyard & Winery 
Water and Emerging Regulatory Issues 
Update on the California Sustainable Winegrowing Program 
A Round-up of Recent Viticulture and Enology Research