Governor Brown’s proposed budget of $488 million for the California Department of Food and Agriculture for 2018-2019 reflects his emphasis on steady growth while maintaining a sufficient rainy day fund, according to CDFA Secretary Karen Ross.
Some key CDFA proposals are as follows:
- Use of Antimicrobial Drugs on Livestock– The budget proposes $2.668 million to address the full implementation of SB-27, which introduces limits on antibiotic use in livestock and stewardship practices to reduce antimicrobial resistance; and it provides antimicrobial availability through licensed retail stores and/or new regulations.
- Citrus Pest Disease and Prevention– The budget would provide $5 million ($2.5 million General Fund and $2.5 million Ag Fund) to enhance Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing suppression activities.
- Bee Safe Program– $1.853 million is proposed to develop a program to promote and protect a safe and healthy food supply through the protection of bees, providing funds for local enforcement of existing laws that promote and protect California’s beekeeping industry.
- Safe and Affordable Drinking Water – CDFA would establish and collect a dairy and livestock safe drinking water fee and a fertilizer safe drinking water fee and transfer the funds collected to the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. The proposed amount for those activities at CDFA is $1.41 million, which would be advanced from the Fund to support the initial startup costs.
- Development of Pesticide Alternatives – The budget proposes $529,000 for CDFA’s Office of Pesticide Consultation and Analysis to support the scientific development and testing of alternatives for pesticides being considered for restriction in California. This includes biocontrol efforts.
- Pet Lover’s Specialized License Plates – This proposal would provide $440,000 (special fund) to implement the provisions of SB 673, to utilize funding from specialized license plates to award grants to qualifying spay and neuter facilities that offer low-cost or no-cost animal sterilization services.
- State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) and Healthy Soils Program – Bond funding (SB 5) would provide $27.4 million for two of CDFA’s climate smart agriculture programs – $17.8 million for ongoing SWEEP grants and $8.6 million in grants from the Healthy Soils Program.
The budget notes that $1.25 billion in Cap and Trade funding (which has been the funding source for CDFA’s climate smart agriculture programs) will be available for appropriation in 2018-19.