Farm Bill Priorities Advance
Monday, May 20, 2013
Posted by: Joe Bischoff, ANLA
WASHINGTON, D.C.— ANLA, and our partners in the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance, are encouraged by the broad bipartisan support for the 2013 Farm Bill, demonstrated by the Agriculture committees of the U.S. Senate and House. Last week both committees passed their respective version of the bill. The Senate passed their version with a 15-5 vote and the House passed theirs with a 36-10 vote.
Both bills look largely like they did last year – before final passage of a new Farm Bill fell short due to inaction by the U.S. House. This year the Senate is reporting about $23 billion in savings over ten years and the House reporting nearly $40 billion in savings.
While funds from many programs will be cut in a new Farm Bill, the specialty crop provisions are proposed to receive expanded funding from their 2008 Farm Bill levels. These provisions, which are so important to the nursery and floriculture industry, include the Specialty Crop Block Grants (SCBG), Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI), Pest and Disease Management (Section 10201), and the National Clean Plant Network (NCPN).
In addition, SCRI would receive baseline (mandatory) funding moving forward. The NCPN would be merged into a single program with 10201 – making those funds mandatory, as well.
ANLA, along with our alliance partners, has been working closely with the respective agriculture committees to secure support for the specialty crop programs and highlight their successes.
"Unlike the traditional payments to row crop agriculture, the specialty crop programs support things like research, rapid response to new pest and disease concerns, and marketing all which improve the competitiveness of U.S. products and result in a significant return on investment,” said Joe Bischoff, ANLA’s Director of Government Relations.
The dollar amounts being proposed by the two versions of the Farm Bill:
- Program (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018) = Total Senate
- SCBG ($70, $70, $70, $70, $70) = $350 million
- SCRI ($25, $30, $30, $65, $50) = $200 million
- 10201 + NCPN ($60, $60, $60, $60, $65) = $305 million House
- SCBG ($72.5, $72.5, $72.5, $72.5, $85) = $375 million
- SCRI ($50, $50, $55, $55, $65) = $275 million
- 10201 + NCPN ($62.5, $62.5, $62.5, $62.5, $75) = $325 million