Industry News

New Winter Rice Habitat Program being rolled out

New Winter Rice Habitat Program being rolled out

We have been working closely with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (“Department”) to establish the program rules for new California Winter Rice Habitat Incentive Program (Winter Rice Habitat Program). These program rules, published in the Department’s Public Solicitation Notice (PSN), establish the provisions for receiving and evaluating grower/landowner applications and how the habitat contracts will ultimately be administered.  The PSN provides the most detailed information about the program, including how to apply and how the applications will be prioritized for funding by the Department. The PSN and other information can also be found the Department’s Private Lands Incentive Programs Webpage.

The program has start-up funding of $5 million in the current state budget.  We expect this amount of funding to initially enroll nearly 142,000 acres in three-year habitat contracts.  The program will provide $10 per acre per year and contracts will have terms of three years. The deadline to apply to this program is Monday, February 11.

Interested parties have an opportunity to attend a CRC Workshop, scheduled for Monday, January 28 at the Colusa Casino starting at 10:00 am, to learn more about this new program.  More details about the workshop, including how to RVSP, can be found in CRC’s Winter Rice Habitat Program Workshop Notice.

We greatly appreciate the leadership of Assembly member Aguiar-Curry to carry this Legislation, as well as her efforts to secure the initial $5 million in program funding.

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Major Amendment Increasing CRC Assessment Cap Coming June 4 – Please Vote!

CDFA will send ballots June 4 to all producers and all handlers, asking the industry to vote on an increase in the assessment cap from $0.15 per hundredweight to $0.20 per hundredweight. The increase in the assessment cap is expected to provide up to nine years of operations for the Commission while continuing the Rice WDR and other regulatory compliance programs. The assessment rate will be set annually based on planted acres, increased costs and reserve levels.