California Pest Protection, and border inspections, to suffer with budget deficit

By Tom Karst, From The Packer Daily

A $16 billion state budget shortfall in California will lead to cutbacks in border pest protection activities.

Dave Puglia, Sacramento-based senior vice president for Irvine, Calif.-based Western Growers. said California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross briefed industry leaders May 14 with a plan that will require $2.1 million in cuts from the agriculture budget to deal with what he called a “rolling crisis.”

“It is very difficult to process another round of cuts to CDFA, minor though they may be on paper,” Puglia said.

 Budget stresses have resulted in $31 million in cuts to the general fund support for the agriculture department in the last two years, he said. Those cuts represent about 30% of traditional general fund support for the department, Puglia said

“The vast majority of those cuts are coming out of the plant side of CDFA, not the animal side,” he said.

Puglia said Ross told industry leaders that the majority of the expected $2.1 million in cuts may come out of the state’s border inspection stations, potentially starting when the new fiscal year begins in July 1.

Read more: http://home.ezezine.com/1636/1636-2012.05.16.11.02.archive.html

(The above brought to us by CATCH THE BUZZ (Kim Flottum) Bee Culture, The Magazine of American Beekeeping, published by A.I. Root Company.)