Governor Brown’s Proposed Budget Promotes Ag Development

Brian German Agri-Business, Funding

California Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed budget for 2018-2019 has a sizable emphasis on agriculture, with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) set to receive $488 million.  Some of the priorities in the budget include bee protection, continued development of pesticide alternatives, along with strengthening efforts to combat citrus greening.Brown’s Proposed Budget

CDFA Secretary Karen Ross highlighted some of the key proposals in a recent article.  The Bee Safe Program would receive $1.853 million to enhance bee protection techniques and further enforce laws that ensure the safety of the state’s beekeeping industry.  CDFA’s Office of Pesticide Consultation and Analysis would also receive $529,000 for the development of pesticide alternatives, including biocontrol efforts.

Governor Brown’s proposed budget would also provide $5 million for Citrus Pest Disease and Prevention, with $2.5 million going into the General Fund and $2.5 million to be put into the Ag Fund.  The funding will assist with further development of suppression strategies for Asian citrus psyllid and Huanglongbing disease, known as citrus greening.

“The inclusion of $2.5 million dollars in this year’s budget follows last year’s significant commitment and augments the $15-$18 million put forth by Growers annually,” said California Citrus Mutual President Joel Nelsen.  “Once again Governor Brown indicates his support for the California citrus industry with the sustained financial commitment to the Asian Citrus Psyllid/Huanglongbing (ACP/HLB) battle being waged in California.”

The budget also mentions the $1.25 billion in Cap and Trade funding will become available for appropriation.  The Cap and Trade money is a major source of funding for CDFA’s climate-smart agriculture programs. The plan for these funds is set to be announced sometime in January during the Governor’s annual State of the State Address.