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Grower News and Alerts

USDA Crop Protection and Recovery

Agriculture is a risky business. USDA is here to help you prepare for and recover from the impacts of natural disasters and market volatility. USDA provides a suite of disaster assistance programs to help offset losses as well as crop insurance and other coverage options to help manage risk and provide a safety net. USDA’s Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Risk Management Agency offer a number of options. You can secure crop insurance through an Approved Insurance Provider.

Caldor Fire Damage Agricultural Assessment Forms

Your Damage Estimates Needed for Federal Assistance

A new form has been created by the El Dorado Department of Agriculture Weights and Measures to be a preliminary data capture of the potential damage and/or loss during the August-October 2021 Caldor Fire.

The form is confidential. Most importantly, the overall numbers will be used to qualify El Dorado County for federal assistance.

California FAIR Plan Completes Latest Step to Provide Farm Insurance Policies

The California FAIR Plan, which provides fire insurance coverage of last resort for residential and commercial properties that cannot obtain traditional coverage from other providers, submitted its farm policy rate filing to the California Department of Insurance earlier this week to move closer to providing coverage for farm properties under the recently passed Senate Bill 11 (Rubio). 

November 18, Crop Insurance Meeting Follow-up

USDA Crop Insurance was the topic for EDWGGA’s grower meeting on November 18. Our thanks to Patti Velasquez of Vander Beek Crop Insurance for leading the discussion and answering growers' questions including those on how coverage for smoke taint is being handled. Patti invited growers to contact her for a no cost, no obligation estimate. Her contact information is: 209-602-5506, She will soon be sending out a crop insurance outline specific for grapes which we will be posting.

New WHIP+ Program Announced

Federal aid assistance will soon be available for wine grape growers who suffered financial losses as a result of wildfires, smoke, drought and other natural disasters in 2020-2021. A new Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) was recently signed into law and $10 billion will be made available specifically for the wine industry.

Talking El Dorado County Viticulture With Chuck Mansfield

As the 2021 harvest nears an end, here is an October 2020 conversation with El Dorado wine grape grower Chuck Mansfield of Goldbud Farms. It's a nice look back as Chuck relays his personal history and insight into what makes El Dorado tick and our wines so special. This article is part of a long series of El Dorado wine region articles written by blogger Randy Smith, The Wine Write. It all starts with the farming and we hope that you enjoy the journey. 

Congressman McClintock's Visit to El Dorado County

On October 5th, Congressman Tom McClintock met with members of El Dorado County’s wine growing community to address concerns stemming from the recent Caldor Fire. McClintock’s remarks primarily focused on the state of our federal forest lands while taking questions from attendees. While he couldn’t offer a timeline or provide a clear path to solving the complex problems facing our federal forest lands, he at least heard some concerns.

Smoke Taint Resources for Growers By Lynn Wunderlich, UCCE Central Sierra Farm Advisor

This copy is from an email Lynn originally sent on Thursday, August 19, to subscribers of her blog. We share it here as important educational information.

Foothill grape growers and industry,

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone as we navigate the Caldor fire. My home is on the edge of an evacuation warning zone so I’m with all of you in using my time primarily to pack and be prepared to leave if needed, and feeling pretty exhausted.  I know many of you are already evacuated, and I’m hoping your homes, pets and family remain safe. 

Smoke Taint Grape Sampling and Micro Fermentation Protocols from WCSET

The California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) is working closely with academics and industry members in California, Oregon and Washington, through the West Coast Smoke Exposure Task Force to develop various resources to assist industry operators. UCD Viticulture and Enology's Anita Oberholster is a member of the task force,

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