The latest budget proposal from Governor Gavin Newsom contains significant investment in valuable agricultural programs. A total of $227.2 billion is being proposed for the 2021-2022 budget. The California Department of Agriculture (CDFA) is set to receive substantial funding to continue providing assistance to the agricultural industry.
“This budget that was released by the governor today is an important strategic investment in our economic recovery and in agricultural and the essential role that agriculture will play in helping our state recover,” CDFA Secretary Karen Ross said during a media call. “It’s not only good for our economy, but it’s good for the health and nutrition and wellbeing of all of our citizens.”
Several climate programs important to the farming industry are receiving significant funding support. The Healthy Soils Program administered by CDFA will be allocated $30 million from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. An additional $170 from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund will allow the Air Resources Board to continue providing support for the FARMER Program. The Climate Catalyst Fund to support Climate Smart Agriculture loans is set to receive $50 million.
The budget proposal also provides support for pest management in agriculture. A total of $3.75 million will be used by CDFA for the continued development of integrated pest management (IPM) approaches including the Biologically Integrated Farming Systems grant program. An additional $8 million is being allocated to CDFA for the expansion of CSU and UC extension research in the area of IPM.
Federal Fund authority of $8.7 million will be used by CDFA to continue to expand the Produce Safety Program. CDFA is also being allocated $2 million to assess the establishment of a single licensing portal for CDFA business. The budget proposal also contains $40 million for CDFA to continue administrating State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program Grants. A total of $6 million will go towards assessing regulatory requirements for agriculture to improve efficiency and eliminate redundancies across state agencies.