Your source for CAWG and industry news
July 7, 2016      

July 13
Webinar: Vineyard Tax Benefits
July 14
Webinar: Night Harvest Illumination

July 20
CAWG PAC Golf Tournament and  5th Annual Awards of Excellence Program & Dinner, Monterey 
July 21
CAWG Summer Conference, Speaker Program and Annual Business Meeting, Monterey
July 22
CAWG Board of Directors Meeting, Monterey

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Summer Conference Two Weeks Away
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LAST CHANCE! Join your friends and colleagues in Monterey for the 2016 CAWG Summer Conference! 
The conference starts with the CAWG PAC golf tournament on July 20, followed that evening by CAWG's Award of Excellence reception and dinner. The program on July 21 features three outstanding sessions:
Session 1 / 8:45 - 10:15 a.m.
Achieving Quality in the Mechanized Vineyard: Now and in the Future
Session 2 / 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Protecting the Newly Established Vineyard from Viruses
Session 3 / 1:30 - 2:45 p.m.
Wine Market Update and Trends

Superior Court Ruling: Piece-rate Safe Harbor Deadline Extended to July 18

Western Growers Association reports that o n June 30, the Superior Court of Fresno issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) extending the deadline to sign up for the so-called "safe harbor" provisions of AB 1513 to July 18, 2016.  On June 27, the Nisei Farmers League had filed an application for a TRO and preliminary injunction with the court against AB 1513. The state law requires piece-rate workers to be paid for "other non-productive time" and rest and recovery periods separate and apart from piece-rate earnings.

National GMO Labeling Bill Passes Hurdle
The U.S. Senate on July 6 invoked cloture on a GMO labeling bill (S. 764) by a 65-32 vote. Cloture is the Senate procedure for limiting debate on a bill and is the Senate's only weapon against the filibuster. The bill - by Senate Ag Committee chair Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and ranking member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) - is expected to be up for a vote on final passage today or tomorrow. It would then go to the House for final approval.
Statement from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.): "The public has the right to know what's in the food they buy at the grocery store. The bill the Senate voted to advance today isn't perfect, but it's the best that can be achieved in a divided Congress to set one standard for labeling GMOs. I look forward to supporting its final passage. Simply put, this bill is good for California because it will ensure that all food sold in stores is labeled if they contain GMOs. This includes labeling 25,000 more products than are covered by law in Vermont, one of the few states with GMO-labeling standards. California has no GMO-labeling law. This bill also protects the strict standards Congress created for labeling food as organic. And by creating a national standard, this bill will prevent a patchwork of different laws in different states, which would be complicated for both consumers and farmers. Under the bill, USDA will have the authority to design labeling options for products containing GMOs, and the public will have an opportunity to weigh in as well during multiple points in this process. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, which funds the USDA, I will work to ensure that any GMO labels are clear and easy to understand."

State Board of Food and Agriculture Prepares for 2018 Farm Bill

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture began discussions on the 2018 farm bill at its July 5 meeting. "Developing California's priorities for the 2018 farm bill allows us to help frame the discussion as preparations begin at the federal level," said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. "This meeting is the beginning of our outreach efforts to stakeholders to gather input and help shape California's recommendations concerning national farm programs and policy." Representatives from agricultural organizations spoke about farm bill priorities for California. "The farm bill provides us the opportunity to expand national programs important to California agriculture and to further develop programs benefiting conservation, healthy soils and renewable energy that are consistent with our state's climate change reduction goals," said Craig McNamara, president of the state board.

Immigration Reformers Eye 'Gang of Eight' Revival

From Politico: Several members of a group that fell short of getting immigration reform into law are ready to try again. The bipartisan group of senators shepherded a sweeping immigration bill through the Senate three years ago, only to watch it stall in the House a year later. Propelled by a Republican establishment eager to make inroads with minority voters after losing them by steep margins in the 2012 election, it was the closest Congress came in a generation to overhauling the nation's immigration laws. Several influential lawmakers see another opening for immigration reform in 2017.

Winegrape Growers of America Elects New Leadership

The Winegrape Growers of America elected officers during the 2016 National Grape and Wine Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. last month. Todd Newhouse of Upland Vineyards in Washington was elected chair, Peter Martini of Anthony Road Wine Company in New York was elected vice chair, and Dave Barber of the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association was elected secretary/treasurer. 


CAWG members Terri and John Balletto, whose land stewardship and dedication to community have made them respected leaders in agriculture, education and philanthropy, are being honored on Nov. 5 by the Santa Rosa Junior College AgTrust for their many contributions to Sonoma County.
In his inaugural monthly video report with American Vineyard and the California Ag Network, DiBuduo provides growers with an update on the current state of California's wine and grape industry. American Vineyard, July 2
Unlike neighboring counties, Sonoma County does not ban GMOs. That could change in November, when voters will face a ballot measure that would ban the growing of GMOs in Sonoma County's unincorporated areas. Argus-Courier, July 2
Constellation Brands Inc. reported $318 million in net income for the first quarter on Thursday, a 33-percent increase from a year ago. Press Democrat, June 30

Draft of Approved Changes to Groundwater Basin Boundaries

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) on July 1 released a draft of its approved changes to California's groundwater basin boundaries, an important step in implementing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). DWR will hold public meetings in mid-July to present the draft basin boundary modifications and receive comments. Following the July meetings, the public comments will be summarized and presented to the California Water Commission.
JULY 12: Redding
JULY 13: Clovis
JULY 14: Santa Ana
JULY 15: West Sacramento

Statewide Water Conservation Grows to 28 Percent in May

The State Water Resources Control Board reports that Californians have saved 1.6 million acre-feet of water from June 2015 through May 2016 - enough water to supply 8 million people for one year. Statewide water savings for May was 28.2 percent (176,947 acre-feet or 57.7 billion gallons), an increase from April's 26.1 percent. May marked the one-year anniversary since the state's 400-plus urban water suppliers were directed to be in compliance with the emergency conservation standards that followed Gov. Brown's April 1, 2015 executive order. "The phenomenal ongoing water conservation by state residents as we enter the hottest summer months clearly shows Californians understand we remain in stubborn drought conditions statewide and that saving water is just the smart thing to do," said State Water Board chair Felicia Marcus. 

Shasta Lake Water Release Plan: No Cutbacks for Growers

The 2016 Sacramento River Temperature Management Plan, released on June 29 by federal officials, is being called a victory for Central Valley growers. The proposed plan does not involve any cutbacks to farm water deliveries. According to the Association of California Water Agencies, the plan "lays out how the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation operates Shasta Dam and other federal reservoirs. The plan outlines a water release schedule intended to preserve cool water temperatures for winter-run Chinook salmon, while meeting water deliveries for Central Valley farmers during the growing season." The revised Shasta plan comes after a June 9 letter - from 15 House members from California to federal agencies - about how a more stringent plan, with decreased water supply, would have devastating effects on growers. The proposed plan was part of the State Water Board's July 6 meeting agenda.

Water Articles and Resources

CDFA Secretary Karen Ross is a guest on the Let There Be Water podcast, discussing California agriculture and the drought. Huffington Post, July 7

Editorial, Fresno Bee, July 2


Upcoming CAWG Webinars

CAWG logo no words
Details about each webinar are posted on the CAWG website.

JULY 13 / 10-11 a.m.
Vineyard Tax Benefits
Presented by David Sinclair and Robert Murphy of Frank, Rimerman + Co. LLP 
>>Learn about recent legislative updates that will have an impact on vineyard income tax returns.
JULY  14  / 10-11 a.m.
Night Harvest and Illumination
Presented by Angelina Ceja (MPA, QAL) of AgSafe
>>Learn about night harvest and illumination requirements and safety procedures.
Recording of FSMA - Produce Safety Rule Webinar 

CAWG Encourages Members to Support and Comment on Proposed Extension Positions

The University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources is soliciting public comments on 138 proposed Cooperative Extension (CE) positions, including advisors and specialists. CAWG has identified eight positions (three advisors and five specialists) that merit particular attention and support from winegrape growers. A complete list of the 138 positions is available  here:
CAWG encourages growers to comment in support of the positions listed below. If you click on the position, you can read more about it and leave a comment. Extensive comments aren't necessary, but the volume of comments does matter. If you are interested in seeing any of these positions filled, then you should comment accordingly. The deadline for comments is July 11.
For the North Coast (Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma)

For San Joaquin County
For the UCCE Capitol Corridor Multi-County Partnership (Yolo, Solano, Sacramento counties)
UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology
To serve growers, the food supply chain industry and the ag technology industry.
Focus on water supply and water quality issues statewide, but with emphasis on irrigated agriculture.
Focus will be on diseases affecting grapevine, berries and other California fruit crops.
Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center

Open House Highlights PG&E's Northern San Joaquin Power  Connect  
The Lodi District Grape Growers Association and San Joaquin County Farm Bureau invited members to a July 7 ag open house to learn more about the proposed PG&E Northern San Joaquin Power Connect project. The project will serve PG&E customers in Stockton, Lodi, Lockeford, Victor, Acampo and Thornton. It includes the construction of new 230 kV high capacity transmission lines and upgrades and potential expansions for existing substations in the area. PG&E reps introduced proposed route corridors, gathered input, and answered questions about the project from land owners and growers. Click here  for more information.
Other resources from PG&E:
PG&E provides fact sheets that focus on the company's energy solutions for agriculture and irrigation and for wineries and vineyards. The fact sheets also highlight energy-efficiency rebates and incentives.
PG&E also has a web page dedicated to gas safety for farmers and ranchers. It includes information about digging near high-pressure natural gas pipelines, deep plowing or ripping, steps to prevent natural gas leaks, and recognizing signs of a natural gas leak.


Hackathon: Growers and Software Developers Design Apps for Ag  

When: July 15-17
Where: UCANR building, 2801 Second Street, Davis
Do you have a brilliant idea for a mobile app that would help winegrape growers? You might be able to turn your idea into a useful technological tool. A competitive "hack-a-thon" is being hosted by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources and the California State Fair. Growers and others in the agricultural industry are invited to join software developers, designers and entrepreneurs at the event. Participants will compete for cash prizes at a "pitchfest" in front of a live audience at the California State Fair on July 17.

FREE CSWA Workshops and Webinars 

Using Sustainable Practices to Navigate Risks

JULY 12 / 9 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.
Tallman Hotel, Upper Lake
This workshop will cover: sustainable practices that help mitigate risks, including energy and water use efficiency, carbon sequestration strategies, IPM, fire preparedness, crop insurance and more.

Webinars on Sustainability Self-assessment and Certification

JULY 27 / 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. 

AUG. 9 /  10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.