Farm Bill Provides Comfort to California Citrus
EXETER, CA - California Citrus Mutual (CCM) has won much needed support, and $25 million in funding every year for five years, with the resolution of this year’s Farm Bill. The Senate announced an “agreement in principle” today, and the final deal is expected to be made before the end of the year.
The funding provided by this agreement will be used to research the invasive species the Asian citrus psyllid, and the deathly plant disease Huanglongbing (HLB). This Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Development Trust Fund will build upon the groundwork of the 2014 Farm Bill’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI).
“The trust fund language is a significant win for U.S. citrus growers. It's critical for the future of our industry and the domestic citrus market that we continue to invest in research aimed to find a solution for HLB," President of CCM Joel Nelson commented in a recent press release.
This latest Farm Bill funding compliments a program to stop the spread of HLB that has been funded by California citrus growers themselves, at the cost of nearly $40 million per year. Recently the state of California has also donated funds towards controlling the Asian citrus psyllid and HLB in urban areas where detection has been prolific.
Nelson continues, "On behalf of the California citrus industry, I want to thank the lead farm bill negotiators in both houses for their commitment to passing a Farm Bill that includes this vital funding for the U.S. citrus industry and specialty crops.”
Funding will also continue for the following programs:
- USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Program
- National Clean Plant Network
- Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops
AndNowUKnow will continue to provide coverage of this year’s Farm Bill resolutions, and how they affect the industry and producers for the coming year.