Your source for CAWG and industry news
Sept. 15, 2016     

November 10-11, 2016
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Santa Rosa

January 24-26, 2017
Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, Sacramento

February 8-9, 2017
CAWG Leadership Forum, Sacramento

March 15, 2017
CAWG Winegrape Day in the Capitol, Sacramento

March 15, 2017
CWGGF Wine Reception, Sacramento

March 16, 2017
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Sacramento

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Responses to Gov. Brown Signing AB 1066 into Law
On Monday, CAWG President John Aguirre emailed a letter to members regarding the signing of AB 1066 into law and also recognizing the tireless outreach efforts of CAWG members to defeat/veto the bill. Following are additional responses about the new law.

Aaron Lange, CAWG board chair:  "The passage this year of AB 1066 and a minimum wage hike make clear that the union agenda in Sacramento is incompatible with the goal of sustaining a thriving agricultural economy in our state. The implications of this bill are far reaching and the message from Sacramento is clear - mechanize or leave the state. AB 1066 will hurt farmworkers and farmers, and make poorer rural communities across the state."   > GROWING PRODUCE ARTICLE

Dana Merrill, Mesa Vineyard Management:  "Farm workers have to live with it, and farmers do too. People will get shorter workdays and workweeks and go through a lot of hoops for the same amount of money. It will nudge us to more mechanization."  > WINES & VINES ARTICLE

Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Yuba City):  "It's the same old story of a government that is out of touch with the reality of living, working and doing business in California. I wish that the voices of farmers and farm workers would have truly been heard in this discussion. Instead, the ruling party placated to one union group and the chronic and ignorant misconceptions of a few legislators who have no understanding of the industry and its people. If you understand agriculture, you know that this new law will result in lost wages for farm workers. There are no real winners with AB 1066." 

Assemblyman Devon Mathis (R-Visalia): "Sometimes, the best intentions can have the worst consequences. AB 1066 intends to help our farm workers by paying them for overtime, but what it will actually do is cause their hours to be cut and as a result their income. As a slap in the face to our farm workers, this bill was pushed by the United Farm Workers union, which represents only around 2 percent of farm workers and was able to exempt their members from the law. The signing of AB 1066 is as misguided as the bill. As the vice chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee and representing Tulare County...many farm workers are my constituents and it is my duty to work for their interests, and this bill is solidly against their interests and will deprive them of badly needed income."  > THE BUSINESS JOURNAL

Bayer-Monsanto Merger Would Create Global Agricultural Force 

After months of negotiations, German pharmaceutical and crop protection products giant Bayer announced Wednesday it will buy Monsanto for $66 billion in a deal that will create the world's largest supplier of seeds and pesticides. According to Bayer's press release, the combined business will benefit from Monsanto's leadership in seeds and traits along with Bayer's broad crop protection product line across a comprehensive range of crops in all key geographies. Bayer offers several crop protection products for winegrapes.

2015 Kern County Crop Report: Grapes Take Top Spot

The 2015 Kern County crop report, released Sept. 12, shows the total value of agriculture produced in the county was $6,878,823,690 billion, down 9 percent from 2014 ($7.55 billion). Grapes (all) were the No. 1 commodity, valued at $1,643,103,000. Grapes were followed by almonds, citrus, milk, and cattle and calves. For winegrapes (crushed), acreage increased slightly to 30,000 acres. Production was 259,000 tons, $303 per unit, totaling $78,544,000. The numbers for 2014 were 273,000 tons, $314 per unit, totaling $85,780,000. The report also highlights pest prevention and control activities for pests such as the glassy-winged sharpshooter.

Read harvest reports from 16 Napa Valley wineries.
St. Helena Star, Sept. 14
Separating the financial reality from the romantic vision of being a vineyard owner, particularly for people who get into the wine business after making a fortune elsewhere, is not easy.
New York Times, Sept. 9
Dodd is running against Mariko Yamada of Davis to succeed termed-out Sen. Lois Wolk.
Sacramento Bee, Sept. 8
Just days before signing AB 1066 into law, Gov. Brown issued a proclamation declaring September 2016 as California Wine Month.
Stephanie Bolton will provide support to growers in the areas of advanced grower education and outreach, marketing and promotions, and viticultural research and sustainability programming.
LWC, September 2016

Drought Conditions for California

The U.S. Drought Monitor features weekly maps of drought conditions. View the Sept. 13 drought monitor for California via link.

Water Articles and Resources

A new recycled water project in the San Joaquin Valley diverts urban wastewater toward a number of beneficial uses.
News Deeply/Water Deeply, Sept. 13
Dry weather reduced some treatments on California wine grapes, but overall use grew along with acreage.
Sept. 12. Wines & Vines

Sixth generation California farmer Cannon Bowles wrote an op ed about California's water crisis, the regulatory process and the government's inability to manage water resources.
The Hill, Sept. 8

Video: CAWG Leader of the Year Award

California AgNet and American Vineyard Magazine produced a five-minute video of CAWG's Leader of the Year award presentation and tribute at the 2016 Summer Conference. The video features the presentation from CAWG board chair Aaron Lange, as well as a slide show honoring Rich Smith. An article about Rich and his family appears in the upcoming issue of American Vineyard.

Aguirre to Serve as Keynote Speaker at Sept. 16 Harvest Luncheon

CAWG logo no words
CAWG President John Aguirre will be the keynote speaker at the 55th annual Harvest Luncheon, which raises scholarship money for Modesto Junior College (MJC) agriculture students. The event, hosted by the Modesto Chamber of Commerce and other sponsors, will take place tomorrow, Sept. 16, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Agriculture Center for Education Pavilion at MJC. Tickets are $25 general admission, $10 for seniors and children. They can be purchased at

New Sales Tax Guide for Winemakers, Growers

The California State Board of Equalization has produced a new online sales tax guide to help California winemakers learn what they need to know about sales and use taxes. The new tax guide explains certain tax incentives, as well as common tax issues winemakers may face. For instance, if you operate a winery, you are considered a manufacturer because you transform one product (grape) into another (wine). As a manufacturer, you may qualify for a partial exemption of sales and use tax on certain equipment purchases and leases. If you operate a vineyard, you may qualify for partial exemptions on certain purchases of farming equipment. The new tax guide provides guidance on the tax application to purchases of many items used in making wine.

Update Your Knowledge of Changing Regulations: Pesticide Safety Instructor Training Workshops

The UCIPM program and AgSafe are offering pesticide safety instructor training workshops throughout the state during the next few months. The all-day workshops are for ag supervisors, growers, farm labor contractors, safety managers and safety trainers. The course meets the requirements established by the revised 2018 Worker Protection Standard, which is mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Participants who complete the training will be qualified to provide pesticide safety training to fieldworkers and pesticide handlers per the revised regulations. Cost is $150 per person.

Make an Impact! Unified Sponsorship and Ad Opportunities Now Available

Now is the time to take advantage of sponsorship and advertising opportunities at the 2017 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, Jan. 24-26, 2017. North America's largest wine and grape industry event - with nearly 14,000 attendees - is an ideal way to promote your business and increase your visibility. Various sponsorship and ad opportunities (to fit any  budget)  include: VIP suites, keynote speaker luncheon sponsor, tote bags, banners, signs, print and online ads, program and exhibit directory ads...and more!
For additional information, please visit the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium website or contact Jenny Devine at (916) 379-8995.