Your source for CAWG and industry news
August 30, 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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*September is California Wine Month*
A toast to our winegrape growers and all who contribute to the winegrape industry!
Click on image to download

Marking the 14th year, California Wine Month celebrates the Golden State's 250-year winegrowing history, as well as growers and vintners. Visit the  Discover California Wines website for information about events and activities throughout the state.

Government Relations Report

The California Legislature looks to wrap up the two-year session by midnight Friday. It seems that legislators are taking an astrological view of public policy by waiting until the last day to possibly take up legislation related to fire and water.
The Wildfires Conference Committee released its comprehensive wildfire legislation at 9 p.m. Tuesday. SB 901 (Dodd, D-Napa) is very controversial and is opposed by most ag organizations as it will likely result in increased utility rates. Because of the law requiring legislation to be in print for 72 hours before being voted upon, SB 901 cannot be heard in either house until Friday night.
Additionally, the Legislature may be taking up clean drinking water legislation late Friday. Currently, SB 844 and SB 845 (Monning, D-Carmel) would tax fertilizer, dairy and water to fund efforts to clean up drinking water. This package requires two-thirds vote of the Legislature for approval and is currently awaiting a committee hearing. 
The moon is waning on Friday which means, "Plans have culminated, and we begin to let go." This is a bit ironic as the legislative session comes to an end.

>ARTICLE: Advocates slam California wildfire plan (Sacramento Bee, Aug. 29)

-- Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995 

New CoBank Study Outlines Labor Issues Facing Agriculture
CoBank has released a new report -- "Help Wanted" -- that explores some of the factors influencing today's agricultural labor climate. The 22-page report is split into two sections, "Wage Inflation and Worker Scarcity" and "U.S. Agribusiness Experiencing Hiring Headaches." It explains how inflated wages result from scarce labor conditions and features direct accounts from various agricultural operations detailing their current workforce challenges. An example about worker housing and the H-2A program in Monterey County is highlighted on pages 14-15. " Without a clear solution to the labor shortage in sight...challenges are likely to persist in the years ahead," stated the  press release

USDA's Trade Retaliation Mitigation Plan Released
USDA announced last month that it would take several actions to assist farmers impacted by unjustified retaliation and authorize up to $12 billion in programs. This week, the agency provided more details about those programs - but to mixed reviews. In response to the release of  USDA's mitigation plan, some California farm groups say the aid measures won't go far enough to offset economic losses from trade disputes, according to an  article in Western Farm Press

Winegrapes Dominate in Sonoma County
I n 2017, the value per ton for Sonoma County winegrapes increased by 8.3 percent per ton, but tonnage overall was down 8.9 percent from 2016. The total winegrape value -- $578.3 million -- was down 1.4 percent from 2016.  The top red varieties by value were pinot noir (13,414 acres, 43,439 tons, $169.9 million), cabernet sauvignon (12,531 acres, 43,158 tons, $132.6 million) and zinfandel (4,977 acres, 12,875 tons, $38.7 million). The top white varieties were chardonnay (15,907 acres, 61,052 tons, $142.6 million), sauvignon blanc (2,656 acres, 15,815 tons, $27.5 million) and pinot gris (468 acres, 1,499 tons, $2.7 million). 

Grapes No. 3 Crop in Madera County

The value of winegrapes in Madera County was $119.2 million in 2017, down from $131.6 million in 2016. Production for red varieties was 22,500 harvested acres, 225,450 tons and $308 per ton, totaling $69.4 million. Production for white varieties was 14,300 acres, 167,024 tons and $298 per ton, totaling $49.8 million. 

Winegrapes Increase in Value in Kings County

The value of winegrapes in Kings County was $16.2 million in 2017, up from $14.5 million in 2016. Production was 3,597 harvested acres, 56,329 tons and $287 per ton. Production in 2016 was 3,730 acres, 50,840 tons and $286 per ton.

Video: CAWG Leader of the Year Tribute
For those who were unable to attend the CAWG Summer Conference, you can watch a six-minute video of the CAWG Leader of the Year Award presentation and tribute to Karissa Kruse. Thank you to American Vineyard Magazine/California AgNet!

Q&A with Marissa Lange of CAWG member LangeTwins. 
Down to Earth / CSWA & Wine Institute, August issue

Reports from nine Napa Valley AVAs.
Aug. 28, Napa Valley Register

Positive outlook due to more typical cool coastal weather pattern.  CAWG members quoted.
King City Rustler, Aug. 23
A Washington State University extension specialist has spent the past three seasons evaluating directed air, pneumatic and electrostatic vineyard sprayers - so she can help growers understand and optimize the technology they are using.
Good Fruit Grower, Aug. 23
The international trade spat is now threatening vintners across the North Coast who are attempting to make inroads into China, the world's biggest market with 1.4 billion residents.
The Press Democrat, Aug. 23


Some growers are hiring workers year-round to avoid shortages during harvest.
Western Farm Press, Aug. 29

In 1965, newspapers across the country reported that the secretary of labor wanted to recruit thousands of high schoolers to replace the hundreds of thousands of Mexican farmworkers who had labored in the U.S. under the  Bracero Program.
National Public Radio, Aug. 23

California State Board of Food and Agriculture Meeting to Focus on Water
The board  agenda includes the following topics: 
--California water update (Department of Water Resources)
--California Bay Delta presentation
--Updates on groundwater sustainability agencies and on water initiatives.
WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 4 / 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Listen and Learn from Vineyard Team Podcasts
The Vineyard Team provides  educational podcastson a number of industry issues to help growers. The following was posted on Aug. 16:
>FARMING WITH WILDLIFEHalter Ranch (CAWG member)  vineyard manager Lucas Pope and his team have found ways to co-exist with the native fauna - including deer, coyotes, mountain lions and rattlesnakes.

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