The Crush December 2022 - 1

Volume 49 | Issue 12 | December 2022
Challenges and Opportunities for 2023
Article by Ted Rieger
Looking ahead to 2023, winegrape growers will
face some of the same challenges they have been
dealing with and adapting to in recent years: water
supply issues, climate change, labor shortages,
production costs including a minimum wage
increase in 2023, and a flat wine sales market.
Other challenges include possible increased union
activity, regulatory hurdles to using new vineyard
equipment/technology, and pest concerns with the
spotted lanternfly. Grower opportunities include
more resources to understand and mitigate climaterelated
issues, and possible opportunities with new
legislative leadership. Highlighted below are a few
possible challenges and opportunities for growers in
With the signing of " Card Check " legislation,
AB 2183, all California ag employers should be
prepared for potential increased union organizing
activity as early as January 1. Under this new law
supported by the United Farm Workers (UFW), the
process of receiving union approval to represent
ag workers under the Agricultural Labor Relations
Act (ALRA) could be expedited by a new process
instead of the former process of conducting a secret
ballot election at a polling place for workers to vote.
In addition, AB 2183 does not require notice to ag
employers about union activity or an election.
Historically, ag employers have taken a reactive
approach to union organizing activity. Employers
are now advised to be proactive by training
management and supervisors about what they
can and cannot say to employees regarding
unionization, and develop a script
for management to engage with
employees on what it means
for the workforce and company
if unionization occurs. This is a
complicated issue and ag employers are advised
to learn more and consult legal counsel. CAWG
members can contact the CAWG office for a
recording and slide presentation from a November
29 webinar, " Card Check--What Growers Need
to Know. " CAWG will closely follow this issue and
provide updated information to members. See
State Focus on page 4 for more information on card
check legislation.
Mechanization tools and technologies, including
autonomous tractors and farm equipment, are
improving and becoming more available with more
products being introduced to the ag market. This
new technology is a key component in precision
viticulture and will assist growers in vineyard
management when dealing with expanding
environmental regulations and a declining
workforce. There are several manufacturers
developing new equipment and there are already
dozens of autonomous and robotic farm equipment
products on the market.
AMOS Power Autonomous Electric Tractor. Photo: Ted Rieger

The Crush December 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Crush December 2022

The Crush December 2022 - 1
The Crush December 2022 - 2
The Crush December 2022 - 3
The Crush December 2022 - 4
The Crush December 2022 - 5
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