The leaders of USDA’s research agencies told lawmakers on the House Agriculture Appropriations panel Wednesday why federal investment in agricultural research is critical to protecting the national food system and supporting American producers.
In fiscal 2016, Congress approved the highest ever budget – $2.94 billion – for USDA ag research. The Obama administration’s 2017 budget proposal asks for $38 million less in discretionary funds compared to last year, but is simultaneously proposing a series of increases: a $6 million increase for the Economic Research Service; an $8 million bump for the National Agricultural Statistics Service; $18 million more to the Agricultural Research Service (ARS); and an increase of $47 million for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
To cut costs, the administration has proposed to end 14 research programs within NIFA – a move Chairman Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) questioned. Read the rest of the story here.