The Farm Bill is on its way after passing out of both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees earlier this week. The bill will head to the Senate floor Monday. House leadership has not yet set a schedule.
Though there are differences in the two versions, the Farm Bill provides important funds to the specialty crop industry. That includes money for the specialty crop block grants and research initiatives that fund services such as invasive pest research and other measures.
Through the Specialty Crop Alliance, Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif commented Tuesday on the bill moving forward Wednesday in the House. “Most of the goals and critical priorities that the specialty crop community has been fighting for over the years have been strengthened or maintained by the House Committee bill and we thank the Committee for its work,” Nassif said. “We would be remiss however in not mentioning that we hope the full House strengthens provisions around crop insurance for our industry as well as the fresh fruit and vegetables program.”
Farm Bill Provisions
Block Grant - $70 million
Research Initiative - $25m (FY14); $30m (FY15 & 16); $65m (FY17); $50m (FY18)
Pest and Disease/Clean Plant - $60m (FY14-17); $65m (FY18)
Nutrition - Fresh Fruit and Veg Program maintain funding and eligibility as is at $150m/year
Crop Insurance - Insert language regarding additional safeguards for new product development
Block Grant - $72.5m (FY14-17); $85M (FY18)
Research Initiative - $50m (FY14); $55m (FY15-17); $65m (FY18)
Pest and Disease/Clean Plant - $62.5m (FY14-17); $75m (FY18)
Nutrition - Fresh Fruit and Veg Program maintain funding at $150m/year but eligibility open to canned and frozen
Crop Insurance - No new language re additional safeguards for product development
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