Durbin, Bustos announce plan to increase ag research funding | TheFencePost.com

Durbin, Bustos announce plan to increase ag research funding

-The Hagstrom Report

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today introduced legislation that would authorize a 5% annual funding increase over the next five years in Agriculture Department research.

Durbin announced the bill while visiting the Peoria County Farm Bureau last month.

“The America Grows Act would ensure USDA has robust federal funding to make breakthroughs and foster innovation that keeps America competitive in the global marketplace,” Durbin said. “If we want to compete with China when it comes to cutting-edge agricultural research, we must increase federal research funding in a bold and effective way.”

Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., plans to introduce a companion bill in the House.

“We need to make big, bold investments in agricultural research to empower our farmers to compete across the world,” said Bustos, a member of the House Agriculture Committee. “Every dollar invested in agricultural research returns more than 20 dollars to our economy, and critical research is needed to arm farmers with innovative tools to fight the growing climate crisis. That’s why my Rural Green Partnership also calls for increased research funding.”

Durbin and Bustos noted, “Today, most domestic agriculture research is funded by large private-sector corporations. Moreover, among high-income countries, the U.S. share has declined from 35 percent in 1960 to less than 25 percent by 2013. By comparison, in the past 30 years, Chinese investments in agriculture research have risen eight-fold.”

The America Grows Act is supported by more than 80 organizations.