Spending bill provides sustainability support, disaster aid for ag
On Dec. 29, President Joe Biden signed the FY2023 omnibus spending bill into law, providing funding for the federal government through Sept. 30.
The legislation provides $25.48 billion in funding for the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and related agencies. The bill provides funding to address sustainability goals, disaster relief, nutrition, research and trade concerns.
“AFBF commends lawmakers for including several important pieces of legislation in the 2023 omnibus bill to support the role farmers and ranchers play in sustainability and recognize the hardships caused by natural disasters,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said.
According to a summary from the Senate Appropriations Committee, the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service is funded at $1.74 billion and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture receives $1.701 billion. This includes $455 million for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), and $50 million for Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE).
The bill provides $3.741 billion for disaster assistance for U.S. ranchers and farmers, including row crop producers, who have suffered losses of revenue, quality or production losses of crops (including crops prevented from planting in 2022), due to adverse weather conditions.
The USDA is allotted $100 million to make payments to cotton merchandisers who have experienced economic losses. The bill sets aside $15.45 million for cotton pest management activities, $4 million for USDA’s cotton classing laboratories, and increased funding for cotton genetics and fiber quality research programs within the Agriculture Research Service.
The bill also provides funding for studies on aflatoxin and nutrition in peanuts. Total funding for FY 2023 is $4 million for aflatoxin research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson, Georgia and $1.5 million for the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to work on peanut nutrition priorities.