The California Legislature has approved a first of its kind $75M drought relief grant program aimed at small ag businesses that support production agriculture. The program also allocates 20 percent of the funds for small or socially disadvantaged farmers.
Based on the amount of loss in gross revenue or gross profit in 2022 compared to the last normal year of planting in 2019 of at least 30 percent, qualified business would be able to receive grants of $60,000 – $100,000 to offset losses related to the drought.
Once signed by the Governor, the grant would be open to dryers, mills, ag aircraft, ag suppliers, ag service providers, ag trucking and small or socially disadvantaged farmers with 100 or fewer employees.
“We are very appreciative of the Legislature’s willingness to extend drought relief to the businesses that support our farms for which crop insurance is not an option. Without them we can’t continue to provide food, jobs in our local communities and unparalleled environmental benefits. The Administration and especially Secretary Ross deserves credit for acknowledging our concerns and advocating for the grant program,” said California Rice Commission President & CEO Tim Johnson.
Rice production in California is estimated at just over 250,000 acres this year. While some farmers are growing about as much rice as last year, production in Glenn and Colusa counties is virtually zero.
A coalition including Northern California Water Association, California Warehouse Association, California Agricultural Aircraft Association, California Tomato Growers, Ag Council of California and Western Plant Health Association joined the CRC is this effort.