Gary Schulz Gives California Citrus ACP and HLB Update

California Citrus ACP and HLB Update from Gary Schulz

By Brian German, Associate Broadcaster

 

The Citrus Research Board (CRB) recently held their annual California Citrus Conference in Exeter, bringing together a variety of guest speakers and research presentations. The Conference focused on pressing Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) and Huanglongbing (HLB) issues, along with political action updates and current projects that are important to the citrus industry. Gary Schulz, president of the CRB, said “We have a 21-member board and we’ve been planning this event for the last 12 months. It’s been 4 years since we held the last conference,” noted Schulz.

Gary Schulz, president, Citrus Research Board
Gary Schulz, president, Citrus Research Board

The CRB is responsible for overseeing the California Citrus Research Program (CCRP), a grower-funded and grower-directed program created in 1968 under the California Marketing Act. The CCRP’s purpose to enable California’s citrus producers to sponsor and support research that furthers the overall industry. Therefore, close to 70 percent of the CRB’s overall budget is allocated to research.

Schulz said the Conference “was a great, great day to have a good update on some of the dollars the Citrus Research Board has been spending on the growers’ behalf on research.” Schulz explained HLB represents the single greatest threat that citrus growers have faced worldwide.

For the past seven years, the USDA and Congress have allocated between $10 and $12 million dollars annually for ACP and HLB research operations.  Advocacy groups and other supportive ag organizations have contributed the difference to reach an annual ACP and HLB research budget of close to $90 million dollars a year. We fund a lot of UC Riverside and USDA agricultural research, service researchers, plus research at UC Davis and the University of Arizona,” Schulz noted.

Schulz, who has many years of experience in California agriculture, having served as general manager of the Raisin Administrative Committee and CEO of the California Raisin Marketing Board, stated that CRB has a great working relationship with California Citrus Mutual (CCM). “Joel Nelson and CCM have worked very hard with the packers to assess themselves, put together a private foundation, and work with the university,” Schulz said.

Featured Photo:  Adult Asian Citrus Psyllid (Source: The Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program)


Resources

California Marketing Act

Citrus Research Board (CRB)

California Citrus Mutual

SCOTUS Raisin Reserve Decision

Grower Reflects on SCOTUS Raisin Reserve Decision

By Charmayne Hefley, Associate Editor

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) recently decided that California raisins held in reserve during heavy crop years belong to the government (under the Fresno-based Raisin Administrative Committee (RAC), a federal marketing order), and the government should pay growers for these raisins. Directly overseen by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the RAC, created in 1949, is led by 47 growers and a public member.

Monte Schutz, a Fresno County raisin grower, as well as chairman of the executive committee of the RAC, said the recent decision by SCOTUS doesn’t make any sense. “The biggest problem I had with the decision is when Justice Roberts stated very clearly that the government took ownership of the raisins, and that was just not true—growers maintained ownership throughout,” Schutz noted. “And the committee, which is made up of growers and handlers, had complete control over when they sold the raisins and for how much. So I think they were mistaken that the government took control; while the government oversees our federal marketing order, we as a committee had control.”

Explaining how he thinks the Supreme Court got it wrong, Schutz said, “Personally I think it may have been the USDA lawyers who just didn’t explain it. The system is a little complicated, and I wasn’t in the courtroom, but I’m afraid they did not explain it properly. How they could conclude the government owned the raisins–is just completely wrong.”

“For the last five years, we haven’t used the reserve program at all because we are in a better balance right now than we were 13 years ago. At that time, the reserve was a tool to take care of the excess supply. We haven’t had to use it for the last five years, and we don’t intend on using it any time in the future. Although I would still like to keep that tool available, unfortunately, the Supreme Court has taken it away from us,” Schutz said.

“Now when we need to put the raisins in reserve, we have to consider, I assume, that the grower has to be compensated for them. But I do not know how the government can tell you at what price; the market dictates the price. That was the problem back then; the market was in a tough situation due to the oversupply, so we had to take less for those reserve raisins,” Schutz said. “Those raisin growers were paid less, but raisin prices did not spiral downward and the industry was kept in balance.”

“Without the reserve program, the raisin price would have crashed, ending in a bigger disaster than what occurred.”

The Supreme Court reached its decision at the end of a long fight by raisin grower Marvin Horne, who held that he did not have to give his raisins to the reserve without fair compensation.

Gary Shultz Takes Up Presidential Mantel at CAPCA

Schultz Takes CAPCA Baton from Retiring and Widely Admired Terry Stark

On Monday, January 26th, Gary Schultz became the new president and chief executive officer of the California Association of Pest Control Advisors (CAPCA) based in Sacramento. He previously served as the president and general manager for the Raisin Administrative Committee and the California Raisin Marketing Board for six-and-a-half years.

The decision of Terry Stark, the former president and CEO of CAPCA to retire created this opportunity for Schultz. Explaining the current outlook of CAPCA, Schultz said, “There are 3,000 members, 16 chapters up and down the state of California; the state organization [of] CAPCA does about 50 workshops throughout the year as well as produce an annual conference and tradeshow. It’s a growing organization; we’re adding staff, providing additional services, so the return on investment for members is tremendous.”

Schultz talked about the big responsibility of CAPCA PCA’s, “In the increasingly environmentally-sensitive and regulatory times that growers live in–in California–the roles of PCA and CCA are evermore important.”

“I just feel very fortunate to follow someone like Terry Stark, who just took the organization to a whole new level from where he found it, and i’m just hoping I can build on it.”