September 17, 2020
Smoke Exposure Q&A with Dr. Anita Oberholster
This week's episode of Office Hours with Dave and Anita features Dr. Anita Oberholster, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in enology, answering questions from grape and wine industry stakeholders about smoke exposure.

Additional questions can be sent to Karen Block at Another Q&A is being planned in the near future. 

>VIDEO (68 minutes)
N95 Masks Made in California
In June, Gov. Newsom announced a partnership between the California Manufacturers & Technology Association and the state of California in creating the Safely Making California Marketplace to help fill a critical supply gap during the COVID-19 pandemic. This partnership is intended to increase the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) by repurposing manufacturing facilities to help meet the growing PPE demand. 
Fast forward to wildfire season, there is now an increased demand for N95 masks, which employers are required to make available for voluntary use by employees exposed to wildfire smoke. To help meet this need, there is a limited supply of masks available through a supply chain involving the state and county ag commissioners.   
Additionally, the Safely Making California Marketplace has N95 masks available and at a price as low as $3.69 per mask compared to up to $8 per mask charged elsewhere. One manufacturer on the website has 250,000 masks in inventory and can ship them out the same day.   
While it has been successful in increasing supply, a shortcoming of the Safely Making California Marketplace is that it does not address the problem of California manufacturers facing a higher cost of doing business. This means that some PPE made in California may be more expensive than PPE manufactured abroad. Nonetheless, we are encouraged to find N95 masks that are made in California and are competitively priced.
Resources and Articles

USDA: USDA announced on Sept. 16 the availability of assistance for residents and ag producers affected by recent wildfires.

Ten-minute interview of CAWG board officer Jeff Bitter.
California AgNet/American Vineyard Magazine

CBS13, Sept. 16

CAWG president, members quoted.
Wine Spectator, Sept. 16

The full extent of damage to orchards, vineyards may not be evident until spring.
Western Farm Press, Sept. 16

Weather West blog, Sept. 14

Experts comment on forest management practices that can help reduce the catastrophic wildfires in the West.
UCANR, Sept. 14

CBS Bay Area, Sept. 12

CAWG members quoted.
Monterey Herald, Sept. 12

With over 30 harvests, the G3 Ag Team has deep experience in winegrape hauling. Our operational expertise and agile planning combine to provide responsive service for wineries and grape growers large and small. Click on image to view video.
CAWG's preferred partner for insurance products for more than 20 years. Group workers' comp, wine industry package, federal crop insurance, employee benefits...and more. For more information: 209-955-2600 or email.
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Congressional Wine Caucus Co-Chairs Lead Bipartisan Group Seeking Aid for Winegrape Growers
The latest effort to get COVID-19 financial aid for winegrape growers comes from a bipartisan group of 41 members of Congress. Congressional Wine Caucus co-chairs Reps. Mike Thompson (D-Napa) and Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) – together with dozens of their colleagues – recently sent a letter asking USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to include winegrapes on the list of commodities eligible for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. Thompson wrote on Facebook, “Coronavirus has taken a huge hit on so many agricultural producers, including grape growers in our district and across our nation. Without this help, family farmers, local workers and our local economy will be hurt. I will continue working to bring relief for grape growers and agricultural producers across our district.”

CAWG is thankful to Rep. Thompson for his ongoing efforts to help winegrape growers.

Housing for the Harvest Adds More Counties
Six counties are now participating in Housing for the Harvest. Kings, Riverside and Tulare counties have joined Fresno, San Joaquin and Santa Barbara counties in the program. “Counties across the state are stepping up to provide a safe, temporary housing solution to protect agricultural workers who need to isolate,” California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross said. “These hardworking men and women are on the front lines of the pandemic and it is critical that we protect them, their families and local communities.”
Resources and Articles

California’s tier assignments: View map. As of Sept. 17, two counties are in yellow (minimal), nine in orange (moderate), 17 in red (substantial) and 30 in purple (widespread).    

California Department of Public Health: COVID-19 statistics and resources (updated daily)
Government Relations Report
Last month, CAWG and other ag organizations asked Gov. Gavin Newsom to oppose Proposition 15, a split-roll tax initiative that would reassess and raise property taxes on commercial and industrial property. Unfortunately, Newsom last week announced his support for the November ballot measure. Ag industry associations reacted strongly to his announcement.

Proposition 15 will raise taxes at a time when businesses are already suffering the effects of the pandemic. Proponents (mostly labor unions) falsely claim that Proposition 15 doesn’t apply to agricultural facilities. Nonetheless, for agriculture, Proposition 15 would trigger reassessments at market value for ag-related facilities and improvements. Consequently, the initiative would directly affect growers, as well as wineries and our industry partners alike, and would increase property taxes across all industries by roughly $11.5 billion annually.

CAWG has joined several ag organizations in opposing Proposition 15. In October, CAWG will send grower members additional information about Proposition 15 and how you can engage on this priority issue for the ag industry.  

-Michael Miiller / / (916) 204-0485
Now Hiring: Research Coordinator for PD/GWSS Board
The California Department of Food and Agriculture is hiring a research coordinator to monitor, guide, facilitate and maintain progress with the Pierce's Disease/Glassy-winged Sharpshooter Board's research projects that benefit winegrape growers. The deadline to respond to the request for proposal is Sept. 25.

Podcast: Regenerative Agriculture
The Vineyard Team’s Sept. 17 podcast features University of Washington’s David R. Montgomery, who defines regenerative agriculture as leaving the land better off and more fertile as a consequence of cultivation. Through research, he has defined three principles to build soil fertility: minimal disturbance, cover cropping and growing a diversity of crops. Montgomery has studied the success of these principles in ag systems around the world, from subsistence farmers to large crops in North America.

>PODCAST (22 minutes)
National Farm Safety and Health Week
National Farm Safety and Health Week (Sept. 20-26) is one way to stress the importance of preventing injuries and illnesses to everyone involved in farm-related work. The National Education Center for Agricultural Safety website has a list of webinars scheduled for next week, as well as resource materials and videos focusing on numerous safety topics.

Please Vote! Ballots Due Oct. 16

CAWG grower members should have received their official 2020 ballot by mail (please call the office if you did not). Ballots must be postmarked or received in the CAWG office by Friday, Oct. 16. Members will only receive a ballot for vacancies in their district.

CAWG District 1 – Two vacancies. Nominees:
  • Cameron Mauritson, Mauritson Farms, Healdsburg (seeking election for a first term).
  • Taylor Serres, Serres Ranch, Sonoma (seeking election for a first term).

CAWG District 2 – Two vacancies. Nominees:
  • Mike Testa, Coastal Vineyard Care, Buellton (seeking reelection for a third term).
  • Gregg Hibbits, Mesa Vineyard Management, Templeton (seeking reelection for a second term).

CAWG District 3 – Four vacancies. Nominees:
  • Tom Slater, Slater Farms, Clarksburg (seeking reelection for a third term).
  • Bill Berryhill, BB Vineyards, Ceres (seeking reelection for a third term).
  • Bob Lauchland, Robert Lauchland Vineyards, Lodi (seeking reelection for a second term).
  • Craig Ledbetter, Vino Farms, LLC, Lodi (seeking election for a first term).

CAWG District 4 – One vacancy. Nominee:
  • Stephen Kautz, Ironstone Vineyards, Murphys (seeking reelection for a third term).

CAWG District 5 – Three vacancies. Nominees:
  • Davindar Mahil, Creekside Farming Co, Madera (seeking reelection for a third term).
  • Paul Wulf, Wulf Vineyards, Fresno (seeking reelection for a second term).
  • John Chandler, Chandler Farms, Selma (seeking election for a first term).

San Joaquin County

According to the crop report, “Grapes saw a large drop in value because of a large decrease in bearing acreage and drop in the price of grapes related to market demand.” Grapes fell one spot to be the No. 3 commodity in 2019, behind almonds and milk. The grape crop was valued at $372.5 million, which is down from $430.5 million in 2018. Production statistics: 95,900 bearing acres (97,200 in 2018) and 682,000 (751,000 tons in 2018) at $546 per ton ($573 in 2018).

Placer County

The winegrape crop was valued at $1.59 million in 2019, up from $1.45 million in 2018 and $1.12 million in 2017. Production statistics: 307 bearing acres (293 in 2018) and 1,151 tons (1,071 tons in 2018) at $1,385 per ton ($1,490 in 2018).

Vineyards & Wine

September issue

Nielsen, Sept. 17

Growing Produce, Sept. 15

Eight facts on how wines go from grape to glass.
Wine Institute, Sept. 14

Entomology Today, Sept. 10

16 / CAWG board of directors election ballots due

12 / CAWG board of directors meeting (virtual)