Your source for CAWG and industry news
August 24, 2017
CALENDAR

October 19
CAWG PAC fundraiser, Madera

November 9-10
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Lodi

January 23-25, 2018
Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, Sacramento

February 22-23, 2018
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Temecula 

 
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THE FRONT PAGE 
California Weighs in on 2018 Farm Bill with Recommendations
 
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and other state government agencies submitted to Congress this week its detailed recommendations for the 2018 farm bill. The recommendations represent the collective input of more than 70 diverse stakeholder organizations, five public listening sessions across the state, and state agencies. "This set of recommendations reflects the vital role California farmers and ranchers play in our national economy and the health of our citizens," said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. Among the priorities: safeguard marketing and trade programs, support the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, strengthen plant health programs, enhance conservation programs, and invest in research (University of California, Specialty Crop Research Initiative, etc.).
 


Government Relations Capitol Report
 
NEW LEADER OF REPUBLICAN CAUCUS
 
Today California Assembly Republicans selected a new leader to succeed Chad Mayes of Yucca Valley. Assemblyman Brian Dahle (R-Bieber) is now leader of the 25-member Republican Caucus. Dahle is a farmer and small business owner.

Dahle was elected in 2012 to represent a sprawling north state district - bordered by Nevada to the east and Oregon to the north - that includes the cities of Redding, Yreka and Truckee.

Before joining the Assembly, he served on the Lassen County Board of Supervisors for 16 years. In the Legislature, Dahle is widely respected as a legislator who works across party lines and strives for compromise and consensus. His priorities include job creation and economic development as well as policies that keep families on their farms, protect water rights and support the business community.  
 
-- Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / 916-379-8995


Grapes No. 1 in San Joaquin County, No. 2 in Fresno County
 
Grapes (all) reclaimed the position of No. 1 crop in San Joaquin County in 2016, up 21 percent from 2015. Bearing acreage was 98,000 with 716,000 tons, $594 per ton, for a total value of $425.8 million. In comparison, 2015 figures were 97,900 acres, $576 per ton, for a total value of $351.4 million.
 
 
In Fresno County, grapes (all) were the No. 2 crop behind almonds, valued at $715,428,000. Statistics for wine varieties (crushed) were 689,000 tons at $306 per ton, for a value of $210.8 million. In comparison, 2015 figures were 751,000 tons at $298 per ton, valued at $223.8 million.
 


Potential New Restrictions on Chlorpyrifos in California
 
Two state government agencies are pursuing health protections on chlorpyrifos that could lead to increased restrictions on the pesticide, according to the California Environmental Protection Agency. The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) on Aug. 18 released an updated draft risk assessment for public comment and will accept comments until Oct. 2. After the comment period, the document will be reviewed by nine scientists known as the Scientific Review Panel. Next month, DPR will provide specific interim recommendations to county ag commissioners. In addition, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) is recommending chlorpyrifos be listed as a developmental toxicant under Prop 65. OEHHA will soon open a written public comment period.
 


Lodi Looks at Biocontrol for Vine Mealybug
 
From Ted Rieger in Wines & Vines: Management of vine mealybug in California vineyards has been problematic. The Lodi Winegrape Commission recently formed the Mealybug Biocontrol Research Focus Group, which held an Aug. 8 field day to educate growers in field identification and management of vine mealybug, as well as identification of parasitized mealybugs and insects that are effective mealybug predators.
 


INDUSTRY ARTICLES

Vineyard operations manager at Rodney Strong Vineyards (CAWG member) discusses too much moisture early in the season, powdery mildew threat, summer heat and the labor shortage.
Western Farm Press, Aug. 23
 
Grower update on the season, harvest and labor shortage.
Western Farm Press, Aug. 23
 
Research and development of technology that lightens the human workload must become more of a focus of capital spending and business strategy if producers want to continue competing on the world stage, says an industry expert.
North Bay Business Journal, Aug. 22       
 
Trinchero talks about the wine business, higher-end brands, meeting customer demands, and being good neighbors and stewards.
North Bay Business Journal, Aug. 22
 
Q&A with Liz Thach, distinguished professor of wine at Sonoma State University, about key takeaways from the Academy of Wine Business Research Conference.
The Press-Democrat, Aug. 21
 
Leaders from the U.S., Canada and Mexico issued a statement following five days of NAFTA meetings. Negotiators from the three countries will reconvene for round two from Sept. 1-5 in Mexico.
USTR, Aug. 16
 
The New York Times obtained more than 700 pages of internal EPA documents that reveal details about the agency's March decision to not ban chlorpyrifos. 
New York Times, Aug. 18


RESOURCES
CAWG Summer Conference: When Labor Gets Tight, Consider H-2A Program
 
Calfiornia AgNet has produced a 6-minute video featuring two speakers from the CAWG Summer Conference. Description: Although not an easy one to utilize, the H-2A program is what more growers and farm labor contractors are using to meet their labor needs. Bob Erickson from Foothill Packing and Jeanne Malitz from Malitz Law explain the program. Read more in American Vineyard Magazine.
 


Agricultural Laws and Regulations for Growers and Farm Labor Contractors
 
AgSafe is offering a course (in English and Spanish) that will cover the Ag Labor Relations Act, Cal/OSHA laws, employment insurance, wage and hour laws, transportation and housing laws, FLC/grower relations, workers' comp insurance, effective management and more. Courses are open to AgSafe members and non-members and are offered in seven cities throughout the state between Aug. 30 and Dec. 6.
 


WATER NEWS
Want to Comment on WOTUS Repeal? Deadline Extended
 
EPA and the Army have extended the comment period by 30 days for the proposed first step of the review of the definition of "waters of the United States" to provide additional time for stakeholders to weigh in. Comments will now be accepted through Sept. 27. Thousands of comments have already been received. To submit and view comments, click here. Click on the COMMENT NOW! box on the top right corner of the page.


Water Articles and Resources
 
A handful of storms each year could provide enough water to offset annual groundwater overdraft in California's Central Valley. But Tiffany Kocis of   UC Davis explains in a Q&A that work is needed to capture and distribute that water.
Aug. 21, News Deeply/Water Deeply


Daily reservoir storage conditions - Aug. 24 report
 

UNIVERSITIES
UC Riverside Reports on GWSS for Temecula Valley
 
The University of California Riverside Center for Invasive Species Research publishes a newsletter twice monthly with monitoring updates about glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS) activity in Temecula. The July 14 newsletter reported, "GWSS activity remains very high, with more than 1,600 GWSS adults caught on 90 traps among 23 fields." As of Aug. 11, however, GWSS activity was steadily decreasing with 782 adults caught on 73 traps. According to a Press-Enterprise article, GWSS devastated the area's wine country in the late 1990s.
 
 
>ARTICLE: Grapevine scourge has returned to Temecula Valley's wine country (The Press-Enterprise, Aug. 17)


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UPCOMING EVENTS
26th Annual Wine Industry Financial Symposium
 
Forty speakers will cover financial, business and strategic issues of the wine industry.
 
WHEN: Sept. 25-26
WHERE: Napa Valley Marriott, Napa
              

2017 Sustainable Ag Expo
 
A 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.   Winegrape-specific sessions focus on vine mealybug management, virus management, red blotch, Pierce's disease, vineyard development, plant material and disease considerations, and vineyard mechanization.
 
WHEN: Nov. 13-15
WHERE: Madonna Inn Expo Center, San Luis Obispo