August 8, 2019
YOUR SOURCE FOR CAWG AND INDUSTRY NEWS. FOR CAWG MEMBERS ONLY.
TOP NEWS ITEMS
China Halts US Ag Purchases in Response to New Tariffs
President Trump on Aug. 1 tweeted, “Trade talks are continuing, and during the talks the U.S. will start, on September 1st, putting a small additional Tariff of 10% on the remaining 300 Billion Dollars of goods and products coming from China into our Country...We look forward to continuing our positive dialogue with China on a comprehensive Trade Deal, and feel that the future between our two countries will be a very bright one!” A few days after the tweet, it was reported that China would stop purchasing U.S. ag products as a retaliatory move. American Farm Bureau Federation President  Zippy Duvall said in a statement , “China’s announcement that it will not buy any agricultural products from the United States is a body blow to thousands of farmers and ranchers who are already struggling to get by. In the last 18 months alone, farm and ranch families have dealt with plunging commodity prices, awful weather and tariffs higher than we have seen in decades.”
Government Relations Report
PROTECTING GROWERS’ RESEARCH DOLLARS
The  Pierce’s Disease Control Program  (PDCP) has been of tremendous benefit to California winegrape growers.  SB 449 (McGuire, D-Healdsburg)  would extend the PDCP for five years, if approved by a vote of the growers in 2020. SB 449 is supported by CAWG and has received broad bipartisan support. 
 
A critical part of that legislation has been how the University of California charges the program for research. That research is entirely paid for with grower dollars. But in 2016, UC proposed charging overhead costs of up to 40 percent. Since 2001, the program has spent an average of more than $2 million annually on research, including field trials by UC. An overhead charge of 40 percent would substantially reduce this critical research.
 
That is why over the last few years, CAWG has worked closely with UC in resolving this issue. Growers now have a written agreement from UC that it will not charge the program (and growers) for overhead. This agreement is ongoing and permanently protects grower funds. This protection of grower dollars is essential as the program continues.   
-Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / 916-379-8995
California Ag Land Values Up from 2018
California farm real estate and cropland increased in the past year, according to an annual  land values report published this week by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Farm real estate average value per acre was $10,000, up 7 percent from 2018. Cropland average value per acre was $12,830, up 5.4 percent from 2018. The report also shows statistics for irrigated and non-irrigated cropland, as well as farmland and buildings.
Advocate for Ag! Engage Members of Congress During August Recess
Each year, Congress recesses for the month of August and federal lawmakers head back to their home districts. Growers can take action on important industry issues by meeting directly with representatives when they are in their local offices and communities. CAWG encourages you to take advantage of this opportunity to make your voice heard! Don’t delay with scheduling a meeting – legislators return to Washington, D.C. in early September. 


Republican Senators Introduce Define WOTUS Act
U.S. Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) recently introduced a bill to legislatively define the controversial "waters of the United States" (WOTUS) rule. “President Trump and his administration have taken tremendous steps to roll back this overreaching regulation and provide for more certainty with a new, clearer definition of WOTUS,” Ernst said in a news release. “But it’s the job of Congress to make a new, reasonable definition permanent…”
US-Guatemala Agreement on H-2A Program
The U.S. Department of Labor on July 30 signed a  bilateral cooperative agreement with Guatemala to facilitate increased transparency, accountability and worker safety in the H-2A nonimmigrant visa program for temporary ag workers from Guatemala. USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue applauded the agreement. “This move by the United States and Guatemala will allow for greater cooperation and will safeguard against disturbances in the H-2A visa program by protecting workers from illegal recruitment activity, providing our farmers with a stable, legal workforce,” he said.

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RESEARCH
WSU Professor Develops New Irrigation System for Vineyards
Dr. Pete Jacoby, a professor/scientist in the Washington State University Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, has invented a subsurface micro-irrigation application – called direct root-zone or DRZ – that decreases vineyard water usage. The DRZ system delivers water directly into the plant root zone via plastic pipe placed vertically into the soil to depths of two feet or more. According to an  Aug. 7 WSU news article , Jacoby believes his DRZ system will offer growers a sustainable tool that will save money and water without sacrificing the quality of the winegrapes.

> RESEARCH PAPER (“Direct Root-zone Delivery to Enhance Deficit Irrigation Application”)

RESOURCES
California Agritourism Website Launched
University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) has launched a website called  California Agritourism , an easy-to-use site with information for farmers and anyone involved in California agritourism. The site includes articles, worksheets, checklists, guides, webinars, presentations, contacts and other materials created by UC ANR advisors and staff, plus links to agritourism resources created by other universities and organizations.

CROP REPORTS
San Diego County: Winegrapes Up 19 Percent in Value
Winegrapes increased 19 percent to $4,591,032, continuing to rebound after values decreased in 2015 and 2016. Acreage and tons also increased in 2018: 1,642 acres (up from 1,210 in 2017) and 3,284 tons (up from 2,783 in 2017). According to San Diego County officials, winegrapes became a trendy crop and soared by more than 500 percent in 2012, two years after the Board of Supervisors approved the Boutique Winery Ordinance to promote the creation of small wineries.
 

ARTICLES OF INTEREST
Vineyard & Wine
Hand-held device reads color accumulation in berry skins.
Wine Business, Aug. 7

Lodi workshop shows hand-held, high-pressure spray guns are a thing of the past
Western Farm Press, Aug. 7

Onset signals harvest is six to eight weeks away.
Western Farm Press, Aug. 7

Lengthy article about the spotted lanternfly. 
Wired, Aug. 2

CAWG members quoted.
Ag Alert, July 24
Agriculture
Water
The county is asking the Department of Water Resources to abide by local drilling permit requirements to protect wildlife and water quality in accordance with state law.
Press release, Aug. 1

UPCOMING INDUSTRY EVENTS
2019 Kearney Grape Day
Free session at the UC Kearney Ag Research and Extension Center in Parlier.

WHEN: Aug. 14 / 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

CALENDAR
November 7
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Modesto