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SPECIAL REPORT: House Agriculture Appropriations Report and California Implications -- August 29, 2002
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The following represents a quick analysis of the bill from a California perspective as prepared by the California Institute. We apologize for any errors or omissions in our discussion of these documents, and would appreciate any input/feedback on how to make improving corrections. The ordering of items generally reflects their presence in the bill and does not mean to imply any relative importance.
This appropriations analysis is available on the California Institute web site at http://www.calinst.org/pubs/ag03h.htm . A printable version in Adobe Acrobat ("pdf") format is also available at http://www.calinst.org/pubs/ag03h.pdf .
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICES (ARS) - Continuing Programs
In the House bill, Agricultural Research Services is funded at $1.1 billion, a decrease of $114 million below last year, and an increase of $109 million above the President's request. The House bill directs the following California ARS programs to be funded at FY 2002 levels:
Lettuce Geneticist/Breeder Position, Salinas, CA
Greenhouse Lettuce Germplasm Research Salinas, CA
Organic Minor Crop Research, Salinas, CA
Olive Fruit Fly, Parlier, CA/ Montpellier France
Pierce's Disease, Parlier, CA/ Davis, CA/ Ft. Pierce, Florida
Sustainable Vineyards Practices Commission, Davis, CA
Postharvest and Controlled Atmosphere Chamber Research (Lettuce) Salinas, CA
(The House bill directs the ARS to fund Pierce's Disease and Glassy Winged Sharpshooter related research at $3.4 million.)
These programs are designed to prevent and control emerging, reemerging and exotic plant and animal diseases impacting livestock production. The House bill would provide $500,000 for BSE/TSE exotic animal disease research at Albany, CA.
ARS-BIOBASED PRODUCTS AND BIOENERGY
The House Committee provides $250,000 for agricultural biomass feedstock research and the production of biobased products at Albany, California. The House report also approves an extra $500,000 for the development of biobased technology and an extra $250,000 for biofuels conversion both conducted at Albany, CA.
ARS-PLANT/CROP GENOME SEQUENCING
Genomics improve crop yield and farm efficiency without risking environmental degradation. The House Committee earmarks $500,000 more than FY 2002 funds for gene discovery and development support at Albany, California.
The House bill rejects select closures, consolidations, and reductions of select laboratories and ongoing research programs proposed in the President's budget. The House bill maintains and restores funding to the following California programs impacted:
Water Management Research Laboratory, Brawley, CA
Western Regional Research Center, Albany, CA
ARS-TRANSGENE ACTIVITY RESEARCH
The House Committee earmarks $500,000 more than FY 2002 for expanded research related to geneflow from crops to surrounding vegetation by pollen dispersal at Albany, California.
The House bill provides an increase of $2,750,000 for acquiring, characterizing and evaluating germplasm resources. Labs at Riverside, Parlier, and Davis will each receive $250,000 for related activities.
ARS-INVASIVE WEEDS AND INSECTS
Invasive weeds and other pests species severely afflict US agricultural production, costing hundreds of billions in damages every year. The House bill would provide an increase of $1,250,000 in funding for continued research to develop safe control and eradication technologies, with research conducted at Davis.
This program enhances grape growing practices that are biologically and environmentally sound and sustainable. The Committee earmarks $300,000 in additional funds for related research conducted at ARS in Davis.
The Committee grants no money to California Nursery Growers for losses related to GWSS although there is language included encouraging APHIS to cooperate with nursery growers in protecting agricultural production from GWSS infestation.
ANIMAL PLANT AND HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICES (APHIS)
The House bill includes $740 million for APHIS activities, $31.1 million below the President's request. Of these funds $17.5 million will be for efforts to combat the Glassy-winged Sharpshooter (PD-GWSS), a vector for Pierce's Disease, which has devastated vineyards in California and threatens the entire grape and wine industry.
COOPERATIVE STATE RESEARCH, EDUCATION, AND EXTENSION SERVICE
RESEARCH AND EDUCATION ACTIVITIES (CSREES)
The House bill would set fiscal year 2003 GWSS and PD CSREES funds at $2 million, a $400,000 increase from last year's levels. The Viticulture consortium (NY, CA, PA), a public-private commission of experts tasked with acting on and promoting the nation's wine industry, would be funded at $2 million.
The House bill authorizes $4.5 million in higher education grants for Hispanic Serving Institutions.
NATURAL RESOURCE CONSERVATION SERVICE
The House bill provides $843,553,000 for NRCS operations. This agency provides financial and technical assistance to enhance agricultural productivity and to protect the natural resource base. The Committee recommends the following funds for California based conservation operations:
Contra Costa County Watershed Inventories $375,000
San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau $84,000
Monterey Bay Sanctuary $600,000
Lake Tahoe Basin Soil Conservation Program $200,000
Lake Tahoe Basin Area Soil Survey $200,000
WATERSHED AND FLOOD PREVENTION
The House bill would provide $110,000,000 for Watershed and Flood Prevention programs. The NRCS is urged by the House Committee to complete the Beardsley Wash Watershed Project in Ventura, and the House Committee earmarks $300,000 for related research conducted at Davis.
RURAL DEVELOPMENT - RURAL COMMUNITY ADVANCEMENT PROGRAM
For the Office of the Under Secretary for Rural Development, the House provides $640,000. $950,000,000 of Rural Community Advancement Program funds will be available for the cost of direct loans, loan guarantees, and grants. Of these funds, $25,000,000 will be set aside for water and waste disposal systems benefitting "Colonias" communities along the US-Mexico border.
DOMESTIC FOOD AND NUTRITION PROGRAMS
The House bill notes a total of $10,576,169,000 for National School Lunch and Child Nutrition Services a $489 million increase from last year and consistent with the President's budget. A total of $4,776,000,000 is to remain available in special supplemental funds for the Women, Infants, and Children program activities (WIC), $428 million in excess of last year's allocation.
In accordance with the sizable increase called for in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (PL 107-171 - the "farm bill"), the House bill notes a total of $26,313,692,00 in mandatory funds for the federal Food Stamp Program, an increase of $3.322 billion above FY 2002 appropriations and an increase of $64 million above the Administration's request.
Section 729: Language is included that provides that the City of Coachella shall be eligible for loans and grants provided through the Rural Community Advancement Program.
Section 748: Language is included that makes the Cities of Hollister, Salinas, and Watsonville eligible for housing programs administered by the Rural Housing Service.
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