On December 17, 2019, the United States House of Representatives passed a $1.4 trillion appropriations bill to fund the government. Included in the package is $61 million for the Citrus Health Response Program (CHRP) and $8.5 million for the citrus HLB multi-agency coordination (MAC). CHRP provides funding to offset California’s Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program. California will receive an estimated $12.8 million as a result of this funding agreement. These programs have and will continue to be incredibly beneficial to the citrus industry.
Also included in the spending plan is a waiver to the matching funds requirement for HLB research projects funded through the Farm Bill, something that Citrus Mutual and other agricultural and research institutions have been working on since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill included a new provision for matching funds on all research programs, which directly affects the $25 million the United States citrus industry receives through the Emergency Citrus Research and Extension Program that funds critical Huanglongbing research. This matching requirement was modified in the appropriations language to grant the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture the ability to waive the matching requirement. The matching fund requirement will allow relevant and necessary HLB research to find a cure to continue as it has been since the last Farm Bill.