Sustained Funding For HLB Research In Farm
California Citrus Mutual (CCM) President Joel Nelsen issued the following
statement upon release of the 2014 Farm Bill Conference Report TODAY:
"Leaders of both Houses of Congress
deserve applause for putting forth an outstanding Farm Bill that prioritizes
funding, reduces overall spending, and sustains valuable programs for the
Specialty Crop industry, and specifically, the U.S. citrus industry."
CCM has worked tirelessly with Valley
Congressmen Kevin McCarthy, David
Valadao, Devin Nunes, Jim Costa, and Jeff
Denham along with Senator Feinstein
(CA) and Senate Agricultural Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (MI) to achieve one of the organization's key goals
- securing a sustained funding for Huanglongbing (HLB) research and
Florida and California have spent a combined
$12 million annually in the past five years for research alone.
"Simply put, this level of funding from the industry is not sustainable
given the increased operating costs of protecting the industries in California,
Florida, Texas, and Arizona from the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) and HLB.”
"There are many 'thank you’s' to be
issued, but the effort put forth by Congressman McCarthy, Senator Stabenow
and Congressman Frank Lucas (OK),
Chair of the House Committee on Agriculture is deserving of special
recognition. They heard our requests and were mindful that the future of
the U.S. citrus industry depends upon finding a solution to this devastating
Staff members for McCarthy, Stabenow and Lucas
have been in constant contact with Nelsen to draft language that would create a
streamlined process for funding HLB research and programs such as biological
control efforts for ACP.
"In particular, the engagement of
Congressman McCarthy was invaluable in getting this priority moving forward."
Other Farm Bill components of note include
continued funding for air quality programs, continued funding for commodities
to overcome trade barriers, pest and disease protection programs, and school
lunch programs that put fruit and vegetables at the top of the nutritional
"This balanced approach is a noteworthy
accomplishment that cuts spending while providing valuable assistance to many
stakeholders and ensuring that a viable economic environment for the production
of food and fiber continues to exist."
Labels: California Ag News, CITRUS MUTUAL APPLAUDS FARM BILL COMMITTEE, Sustained funding for HLB Research in Farm Bill