Senator Ochoa Bogh Requests $45 Million Grant Funding to help Local Growers

Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa), along with other members of the State Legislature, has sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom and leadership members requesting a $45 million emergency allocation from the 2024-25 State Budget to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). The money would fund a grant program that would provide relief to commercial citrus and other growers experiencing economic hardship from the exotic fruit fly infestation affecting the Inland Empire.

California is experiencing the highest level of exotic fruit fly infestations in its recorded history. As of early 2024, there have been more than 900 fruit fly detections in 15 counties, a significant increase from the seven flies found in a typical year.

“Local growers within quarantined areas in my district are suffering significant losses due to the recent exotic fruit fly infestation,” said Senator Ochoa Bogh. “Providing financial assistance to struggling growers can will encourage them to comply with quarantine standards, which is necessary to prevent the spread of these pests. It's important we take such measures to keep California's agricultural sector competitive and protect it from such threats.”

The $45 million appropriation would be available in the form of grants to growers within the quarantine areas who have significant crop loss and are not eligible for crop insurance to cover their losses. Providing financial support to these struggling growers better incentivizes compliance with quarantine standards, which prevents the spread of fruit flies and keeps California’s agricultural sector competitive.

Download full letter here.