Your source for CAWG and industry news
August 23, 2018

November 7
CAWG PAC reception, Santa Maria

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

January 29-31
Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, Sacramento

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Ag Guestworker Bill Focus of CAWG Briefing in Lodi
Stephanie Gadbois, House Judiciary Committee
CAWG and the California Strawberry Commission yesterday hosted a regional briefing in Lodi to discuss the AG and Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 6417 by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chair of the House Judiciary Committee). The bipartisan legislation -- labeled "the largest guestworker proposal in the 21st century" -- would replace the current H-2A agricultural guestworker program. Special guest was Stephanie Gadbois, counsel to the House Judiciary Committee and lead staff counsel on ag immigration legislation. Gadbois and Marla Livengood, regulatory affairs manager at the California Strawberry Commission, reviewed key provisions of the bill.  Thank you to the nearly 40 people who attended. It was a great opportunity for our Lodi area grower members to learn more about the bill, ask questions and provide feedback to Ms. Gadbois.

Government Relations Report:
Water Board Delays Action on Water Grab

The  Water Quality Control Plan for the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Estuary would result in an incredible loss of water for agriculture. Some estimate as much as 25 percent of farmland in the San Joaquin-Stanislaus-Merced area could be fallowed. If the State Water Resources Control Board adopts this flow criteria proposal it would be catastrophic for agriculture all over California because it would serve as a template for waterways throughout the state.
This week,  more than 1,300 people participated in a rally on the steps of the state Capitol to fight the proposal. Thank you to all who came to Sacramento to have their voices heard in opposition to this draconian proposal. Additionally, this week the Water Board heard two days of public testimony. Growers, water districts, elected officials and average citizens voiced their frustration with the proposal, as well as with the board's process and the board itself as a regulatory body. At the close of the hearing the Water Board put over the issue until November 
Please visit the  CAWG website for more detailed information about the proposal, the rally and the hearing. This will be updated periodically.

> PHOTOS (CAWG Facebook page)
> STORY: Farmers, community leaders gather at Capitol to rally against 'state water grab' / features CAWG member John Duarte (FOX40 News, Aug. 20) 
> ARTICLE: Central Valley residents rally against water plan (Ag Alert, Aug. 22)

-- Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995 

Fresno County Crop Report: Grapes No. 2
The 2017 Fresno County crop report shows the total value of agriculture produced in the county was $7.03 billion, up 13.58 percent over the previous year. Grapes held the number two spot, behind almonds. For winegrapes (crushed), 2017 stats were: 59,654 harvested acres; 736,000 tons; $308 per ton; value of $226.7 million. In comparison, 2016 stats were: 75,533 harvested acres; 689,000 tons; $306 per ton; value of $210.8 million.

Full Farm Bill Conference Committee to Convene
The 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee announced its first public meeting on Sept. 5 at 9:30 a.m. ET. The committee is composed of 56 members, including nine senators and 47 representatives. The meeting will be broadcast live  HERE.


Reports from 13 Napa Valley AVAs.
Aug. 21, Napa Valley Register
A "picture-perfect" growing season has vintners optimistic as grapes are picked in Napa and Sonoma valleys.
Western Farm Press, Aug. 22

Updates on bulk wine market and grape market, plus 2018 crop contest.
Aug. 16


Press release, Aug. 16
A team is working to develop a system of satellites,  drones, piloted aircraft and fire towers - all equipped with high-tech sensors and infrared cameras designed to spot smoke and wildfires at the earliest possible moment.
NBC News, Aug. 11


The court upholds lower appellate decision to place Roundup on Prop 65 list.
Arentz Law Group, Aug. 20

Trump Administration Looks to Rewrite Rules for Delta Water
From the Sacramento Bee:  The Trump administration is trying a bold new tactic to bring more water to Central Valley farmers. In an unprecedented move, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation served notice to California officials Aug. 17, stating it wants to renegotiate a landmark 1986 agreement governing the federal and state water projects and how they pump water through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to member agencies in Southern California.

WOTUS Now in Effect in California and 25 Other States
The 2015 waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) is in effect in 26 states after a federal judge in South Carolina issued a nationwide injunction on an EPA rule that delayed the implementation of the regulation ( article). The judge ruled that the Trump administration did not follow the rulemaking procedures by failing to provide an adequate public notice and comment period.
The American Farm Bureau Federation and a coalition of industry groups asked the court to delay implementation of its Aug. 16 order while the groups appeal the court's decision.

The Economic Impact of Ag Groundwater Markets
From the University of California ARE Update, July/August 2018: Groundwater markets offer a cost-effective means of meeting management goals under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). Using data from the Coachella Valley groundwater basin, we quantify the economic impacts of trade in one of California's most important ag regions. Facilitating groundwater trade under a mandatory basin wide "cap" on pumping will reduce disruptions to the local economy and keep land in production, relative to a scenario where trade is prohibited.

IRS to Taxpayers: Do a Paycheck Checkup Now

Due to changes to the tax law for 2018, the IRS is urging taxpayers to do a paycheck checkup using its withholding calculator and, if necessary, complete a new Form W-4 The calculator helps determine the right amount of withholding. Employers are encouraged to share this with employees.
Taxpayers should check if they:

-Are a two-income family.
-Have two or more jobs at the same time or only work part of the year.
-Claim credits like the child tax credit.
-Have dependents age 17 or older. 
-Itemized deductions in 2017.
-Have high income or a complex tax return.
-Have a large tax refund or tax bill for 2017.

Be Prepared! Applying for a REAL ID at DMV

Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security requires your driver license or ID card be REAL ID compliant if you wish to board a domestic flight or enter military bases and most federal facilities.  You must apply in person, so make an appointment online to avoid long lines! DMV just released a brief video about applying.

2018 Sustainable Ag Expo

multi-day seminar and tradeshow for farmers, ag professionals and PCAs to learn about the latest in research, resources and trends related to sustainable agriculture. Sessions topics include: Pierce's disease research, powdery mildew, mealybug and red leaf disease management, the H-2A program, and safety and labor regulations.
WHEN: Nov. 12-14
WHERE: Madonna Inn Expo Center, San Luis Obispo