Governor adds $5M for psyllid abatement in ’20-’21 budget

The budget was signed on June 29 and it includes funding for the Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Division

SACRAMENTO – The plague of the citrus psyllid has been largely lost in the global pandemic, but California’s legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom haven’t forgotten about it.

Following several weeks of extensive negotiations, Newsom signed the 2020-21 California budget into law on June 29. Included in the budget for a second consecutive year is $5 million in state funding for the Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Division for the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

The Division is tasked with preventing the spread of the Asian citrus psyllid and greening disease it imparts on citrus, huanglongbing. Given the dire economic recession created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting budget cuts, the citrus industry is incredibly fortunate to have maintained this critical funding. California Citrus Mutual, an Exeter based nonprofit organization, has worked extensively over the years to advocate for state funds to augment the citrus industry’s investment. CCM applauded the Governor, CDFA secretary Karen Ross and the Citrus Division Leadership, and members of the legislature who advocated for and supported this funding.

The citrus division, known within the industry as the Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program or CPDPP, is funded in partnership between the citrus growers and state and federal governments. In addition to grower assessments and funding from the state, the program has received significant funding from the federal government each year for the past decade. Last year, CCM worked to get an increase for the nationwide Citrus Health Response Program, which resulted in $14 million for California. They are optimistic that Congress will once again approve this funding in the upcoming budget.

The division’s nearly $40 billion per year budget is spent on activities to prevent the spread of huanglongbing to commercial citrus groves. It is CCM’s priority to see that state and federal partners continue to support this essential program.

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