Government Shutdown Not Affecting California Citrus — Yet

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Citrus

An analysis by California Citrus Mutual (CCM) indicates there is no major impact at the present time on government programs that affect California’s citrus industry. This could change if the shutdown drags on, however.

According to the report, “Our major priority would be the ACP/HLB program sometimes known as CHRP (Citrus Health Response Program). We are not suffering any major impacts inasmuch so much of the funding comes from growers and the state. Much of the federal dollars are used to underwrite consumer communications, detection, or trapping and analyzing ACP and green waste. Actual personnel employed by the federal government are at a minimum.”

The report adds that the Trade Mitigation Package will proceed as CCM expects a second announcement about the purchase of surplus oranges to materialize in the next 10 days.

“APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) personnel for the inspection of contraband at points of entry into the United States are deemed essential as well inasmuch they look for invasive pest, plants and/or diseases,” states the report. However, the report points out that “other pest eradication programs would suffer inasmuch USDA personnel would be utilized for Medfly or other tri-fly invasions. Research facilities will be negatively impacted, meaning the Parlier Research Station could soon see funding cuts.”

Additionally, “A myriad of administrative reports are suspended which run the gamut from Ag Statistics to reports published by the Economic Research Service. Those entities accessing grant funds which could range from trade barriers to trade promotion and grants to support research, education and Extension will be stopped until funding is restored and personnel are back at work.”

The report concludes that “At this moment in time, the negative impacts to the California citrus industry are minimal, but should this continue, the news would be different.”

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About the Author

Len Wilcox

Correspondent at Large for Citrus Industry Magazine and AgNet West