Federal and state budget cuts are already affecting the California almond industry, and more cuts lie ahead. That message was clear from two leading farm policy experts during an agricultural-issues update held Oct. 28 at the Almond Board of California office.
Dee Dee D'Adamo, senior policy advisor for Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Merced), noted that potential federal budget cuts could impact funding for research, USDA's Market Access Program and the Environmental Quality Incentive Program. With the congressional supercommittee unable to come to an agreement, budget negotiators will continue looking at a wide variety of program cuts.
Jim Collin, chief consultant to the Assembly Agriculture Committee, pointed to the State Water Resources Control Board's recent action to raise fees due to state budget cuts. Programs such as the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program will be affected; members could see fee increases of some 300 percent to 400 percent.
The Ag Policy and Legislative Issues Update briefings were initiated by the ABC to educate almond industry members on relevant legislative and regulatory issues. A summary of the issues discussed is available from the Almond Board.