July 9, 2020
YOUR SOURCE FOR CAWG AND INDUSTRY NEWS. FOR CAWG MEMBERS ONLY.
NEXT WEEK!
We hope you'll join us on Thursday, July 16 from 10-11:30 a.m. for CAWG's 46th Annual Meeting (virtual!). This will be a great opportunity to hear from CAWG's leadership and an outstanding lineup of industry speakers!
COVID-19 NEWS
Lawmakers Want Winegrape Growers to Receive Direct Aid Via USDA's CFAP
More than 25 members of Congress this week sent a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting that winegrape growers receive financial relief through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). “The letter from the California congressional delegation is a tremendous boost to our efforts to seek vital financial assistance for winegrape growers,” CAWG President John Aguirre said. “We applaud and appreciate the leadership of Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Napa) in crafting the letter and garnering support from his colleagues.”


USDA today announced that nearly 40 commodities were added to the CFAP specialty crops list – excluding winegrapes. USDA collected comments and supporting data for consideration of these additional commodities through June 22.
COVID-19 Farm Survey Closes July 10
The UC Davis Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety is asking for growers, employers, FLCs and others to complete an anonymous survey (English and Spanish) about your experiences addressing COVID-19​ in the workplace. The survey should take less than 10 minutes. The center says that answers will be used to share effective strategies, understand challenges, and respond with practical solutions and information.

> SURVEY
COVID-19 Harvest Protocols Workbook
Based on health and safety guidance from government agencies, CAWG, Wine Institute and CSWA developed protocols in a workbook format to help vineyards and wineries update their Injury and Illness Prevention Program for harvest activities.

Important Worker Safety Information
The California Department of Food and Agriculture has an extensive list of updated and new worker safety resources (with links). Please share the webpage link within your business or organization.
COVID-19 in the California Legislature
In the last few weeks, there have been COVID-19 cases in the state Capitol: three CHP officers, a security person and at least one Assembly staffer. The Sacramento Bee reported Assemblymember Autumn Burke (D-Los Angeles) tested positive on Saturday. Assemblymember Tom Lackey’s (R-Lancaster) office yesterday announced he has been hospitalized since Sunday with COVID-19 complications. 
 
Speculation is both assemblymembers likely contracted the virus while in the Capitol for a budget vote on June 26. Thankfully, Lackey and Burke report they expect a full recovery. An unknown number of Assembly staffers have also tested positive and others are awaiting test results. There are no reports on the condition of staff.
 
Legislators were scheduled to return from their summer break next week, but Senate and Assembly leaders today issued an update: “We will resume session on July 27 in order to minimize potential COVID-19 exposure and transmission in the California State Capitol. Our staff has been working diligently to adjust the legislative calendar to accommodate committee hearings and full session schedules as appropriate.”
 
It is unclear what the delays mean for the hearing of bills and the Legislature's constitutional adjournment of Aug. 31.


-Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / (916) 204-0485
Resources and Articles
CAWG: COVID-19 resources webpage (updated frequently)

Counties added to monitoring list: As of June 9, 28 counties are on the state’s watchlist .

California Department of Public Health: COVID-19 stats and resources (updated daily)


AgSafe president and CEO interviewed.
AgNet West, July 8

North Bay Business Journal, July 8

Rabobank, July

NEWS ITEMS
Government Relations Report
PROPERTY TAXES ON THE NOVEMBER BALLOT
In 1978, voters approved Proposition 13 to cap annual increases in property taxes. Howard Jarvis then pushed Assembly Speaker Willie Brown to rein in spending to match the reduced tax revenues. Ever since then, labor unions have been working to undo Prop 13 and increase property taxes.
 
This November, labor unions put  Proposition 15  on the ballot. Prop 15 would leave residential property taxes unchanged. But businesses, whose properties have a combined value of more than $3 million, would be subject to annual reassessment of property taxes based on current market value. It is estimated that Prop 15 would raise $15 billion annually, making it the largest tax increase in California history.
 
Proponents claim that ag lands are not subject to annual reassessment under Prop 15, but the loopholes in this exemption are immense. For example, if a winegrape grower has been growing old vine zin for the last 25 years, Prop 13 caps annual property tax increases for that acreage. However, if that grower decides to pull out old vine zin and plant chardonnay, the Prop 13 protection goes away. 

Prop 15 would then kick in, subjecting that acreage to a reassessment based on the current market value of that property. This is because planting chardonnay would be seen as a property improvement. 
 
Prop 15 will increase taxes for all business sectors – including ag – and CAWG will continue sharing information about Prop 15 in the months ahead.


-Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / (916) 204-0485
Pierce's Disease Assessment Rate Unchanged
Each summer, the Pierce’s Disease (PD)/Glassy-winged Sharpshooter (GWSS) Board makes recommendations to the CDFA secretary for setting the assessment rate for the following year’s harvest. By law, this can be no greater than $3 per $1,000 of value. At its July 7 meeting ( agenda ), the board decided to recommend an assessment rate of $1 per $1,000 of crop value. This leaves the assessment rate unchanged since it was lowered for the 2019 harvest.

The PD/GWSS Board advises the CDFA secretary on the best use of assessment funds, ensuring dollars are spent wisely and productively to find solutions to PD, GWSS and other designated pests and diseases of winegrapes. Over the years, the assessment rate has averaged $1.39 per $1,000 of crop value. More than $50 million has been spent on research since 2001.

Unified Symposium Program Committee Chairs Named
The 2021 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium Program Development Committee co-chairs are Mike Boer and Leticia Chacón-Rodriguez. They will lead a group of more than 30 experts and industry leaders who work together on determining topics and speakers for Unified sessions.

Boer, a former CAWG board member, works for Grow West as the sales manager for the North Coast.

Chacón-Rodriguez is the winery manager and winemaker for the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology.
US, Mexico Presidents Meet to Commemorate USMCA
President Trump and Mexico President Andres Manuel López Obrador met this week at the White House for a mostly symbolic signing ceremony to celebrate the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). It was López Obrador's first foreign trip as president. Canadian President Justin Trudeau did not attend.



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EDUCATION
Wine Business Institute Research Summit 2020 (Live Virtual Event)
Navigating Uncertainty – Insights from Wine Business and Research Leaders

WHEN: July 15 / 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
ABOUT: The summit is a gathering of academics, scholars and wine industry professionals devoted to the sharing of research on the economic, social and management issues affecting the wine sector.

California Farm Labor Contractor Association Training
Instructor Training: Heat Illness Prevention
July 14 / 8:45-11 a.m.

Harassment Prevention Training for Supervisors
July 21 / 9-11 a.m. (English) and 12:30-2:30 p.m. (Spanish)
Office Hours with Dave Block and Anita Oberholster
To be placed on the email distribution list for future Zoom sessions or to share ideas about future programs, contact Karen Block at klblock@ucdavis.edu .

The following episodes are posted online .

Ep. 9: The impact of smoke exposure on grapes and wine
Ep. 8: Phenolic extractability and reactivity
Ep. 7: Viticulture during climate change
Ep. 6: Sustainable wine processing
Ep. 5: Canopy management and mothballing vineyards
Ep. 4: Vineyard automation and mechanization
Ep. 3: Exploring the genetics of grapevines
Ep. 2: The latest in red blotch research
Ep. 1: Viticulture and enology curriculum changes

MEETING ID:  917 4033 7428   
PASSWORD:  867092

ARTICLES OF INTEREST
VINEYARDS & WINE

Article highlights the extensive research efforts – particularly mechanization – at the vineyard. Dr. Kaan Kurtural is quoted.
Western Farm Press, July 8

AgNet West, July 8

Growing Produce, July 8

Lake County Winegrape Growers, July 8

Scientists have been working feverishly to figure out SLF’s life cycle to reveal any Achilles’ heel that could make it vulnerable to control measures. The search has just become easier. 
Entomology Today, July 1

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