The Crush - December 2021 - 1

Volume 48 Issue 12 December 2021
Opportunities and Challenges for 2022
By Ted Rieger
As 2021 draws to a close, The Crush looks ahead to potential
opportunities and challenges for winegrape growers in 2022,
and identifies some resources for assistance. Favorable funding
from the state and federal levels provides opportunities to
improve infrastructure and wildfire management, and adapt ag
practices to mitigate climate change. Growers have opportunities
to work collectively to steer funds to benefit agriculture, and to
individually apply for grant funds for on-farm projects.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)
received increased state funding this fiscal year for Climate
Smart Ag Programs and grants for farmers under the State Water
Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP), the Healthy Soils
Program and a new Conservation Agriculture Planning Grant
Program. CDFA recently created a centralized webpage portal
for grant programs with schedules of workshops and application
periods. CDFA grants webpage
Although fall rains brought record precipitation to some
Northern California growing regions in late October, and
favorable soil moisture levels entering the dormant season,
longer-term forecasts indicate drying trends from December
through February. There is hope for late season storms moving
into spring, and some Northern California locations may see near
average seasonal rainfall. However, precipitation is not expected
to add significant water storage to reservoirs depleted after two
years of drought. Water availability again will affect vine growth,
development and crop yield in 2022, and growers should manage
vine canopies and crop loads in relation to
water supplies.
Louie Perry of Cornerstone Government
Affairs, CAWG's Washington, D.C.
advocate, spoke about water issues at the
El Dorado County vineyard, December 2021. Photo: Meredith Ritchie
CAWG board meeting in November. " Congressional passage of
the largest infrastructure funding bill in the history of the country
will enable funding to flow to California for watershed and dam
rehabilitation projects to improve dam safety, and for wildfire
reduction in the West, " he said. Perry suggested working with
CAWG staff to prioritize projects for funding. Federal funding
is also available for climate resiliency projects including Natural
Resources Conservation Service grants.
State and federal funds are expected to be available to assist
with projects at local water districts to repair and upgrade water
infrastructure such as leaking pipelines, pumps and storage
facilities, and to reduce water waste. However, no projects are
expected in the near future that will significantly increase state
water storage capacity.
With two years of below average size winegrape crops and
reduced wine inventories, supply and demand are more in
balance and higher grape demand is expected. Growers are

The Crush - December 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Crush - December 2021

The Crush - December 2021 - 1
The Crush - December 2021 - 2
The Crush - December 2021 - 3
The Crush - December 2021 - 4
The Crush - December 2021 - 5
The Crush - December 2021 - 6
The Crush - December 2021 - 7
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The Crush - December 2021 - 12