On Monday night, the House and Senate Farm Bill Conference Committee finalized an agreement on the Agricultural Act of 2014 (commonly known as the 2014 farm bill).
If approved by both chambers of Congress this week, it would mark the official end of a lengthy legislative process that began in 2011, and would increase the federal government's investment in important special crop priorities.
The 2014 farm bill contains a 55 percent increase in new resources dedicated to important industry priorities, including:
* Specialty Crop Research Initiative, which provides funding for critical research to address zebra chip, acrylamide, and Potato virus Y (PVY);
* Specialty Crop Block Grants, which provide funding for state-specific projects to promote and research potatoes;
* Market Access Program, which provides funding for specialty crops, including potatoes, to promote U.S. agriculture in foreign markets; and
* Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops, which addresses foreign market access barriers that block the export of U.S. agricultural products, including potatoes, from their intended destination.
The 2014 farm bill will be brought before the House of Representatives for a final vote Wednesday. Later this week the Senate will bring the bill up for a final vote before sending it to the president for his signature.
Write to your senators and House member today urging them to support passage of a final 2014 farm bill!
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