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. 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. The plan for these funds will be announced later in January as part of the Governor’s annual State of the State Address.
The entire proposed state budget may be found here.