Feb 13 2003


Conference Committee Approves Funding–House and Senate Scheduled to Approve Funding Tonight

U.S. Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced funding for Alabama projects.

Sen. Shelby said, "I believe this Appropriations bill goes a long way toward helping our country's farmers, and Alabama's farmers, by funding advanced research methods with the ultimate goal of eliminating devastating diseases and increasing agricultural productivity levels."

Catfish Disease Research - $900,000

Senator Shelby was able to secure continued funding for aquaculture and fish disease research to be conducted at the Agricultural Research Service facilities located at Auburn University. This bill includes $900,000 in funding for the project which will provide greatly needed scientific research for the development of safe and effective vaccines for the prevention of diseases in catfish to increase productivity, fish efficiency, and reproduction.

Senator Shelby said, "I am pleased to provide funding so that the researchers at Auburn can continue their important research activities into the diseases that affect our catfish."

Satsuma Mandarin Orange Research - $900,000

Sen. Shelby said, "This legislation includes $900,000 in funding which will allow Auburn University to continue their important research to increase Satsuma Mandarin Orange production in the United States. Auburn University's program is targeted towards developing early warning systems to protect plants from frost, to develop crop protection, and to create new genetic strains. It is my hope this research will help to revive the Satsuma industry that once thrived in the Gulf Coast states."

Precision Agricultural Partnership - $480,000

Sen. Shelby said, "This bill includes $480,000 for the Precision Agricultural Partnership, which conducts research to increase agricultural yields and profitability. This project uses technologies such as remote sensing, geographic information systems and global positioning systems to aid traditional farming methods."

Tri-State Peanut Joint Research - $600,000

Sen. Shelby said, "This bill includes $600,000 for Tri-State Peanut Joint Research. These funds will allow continued research into several factors affecting the peanut industry including pests, soil quality, water quality, nutrients, and overall production environments. The goal is to increase yields with crop rotations and conservation."

Alabama Beef Connection - $125,000

Sen. Shelby said, “This bill includes funding for the Alabama Beef Connection program. This new program will allow us to track cattle as they move from farm to market and will provide greater information to public health officials who monitor beef products.”

USDA-ARS National Soil Dynamics Laboratory - $1.45 million

Sen. Shelby said, "This bill includes funding for research activities, including studies in soil hydrology, weed ecology, and soil physics to be conducted at the ARS Soil Dynamics Laboratory at Auburn, Alabama. The drought of 2000 resulted in $329 million in losses to Alabama's row crop producers who typically contribute more than $700 million to the State's economy. It is imperative that we investigate ways to reduce drought related risks and find ways to address them in an effort to increase production and producer's profitability."

Food Safety and Detection Program - $1.125 million

Sen. Shelby said, "This bill includes funding for Auburn University's ongoing research to ensure consumer access to safe food supplies. The additional money provided this year will allow Auburn to expand their research of Mad Cow disease and methods of prevention.”

Nursery, Greenhouse and Turf Specialties Research - $310,000

Sen. Shelby said, “This continued funding will support research of greenhouse, nursery and turf horticultural products. The research will focus on areas such as new and improved pest resistant plant strains, utilization of new technologies in production, and strategies for crop scheduling. As the largest economic plant industry in Alabama, research in these areas are needed to maintain and fuel the industry’s growth.”

Improved Crop Production Practices - $500,000

Sen. Shelby said, “This funding will allow Auburn University, Alabama A & M and Tuskegee University to conduct joint research of conservation tillage, precision agriculture and management of poultry litter.”

Alkaline Digester Disposal System - $700,000

Sen. Shelby said, “This funding will allow Auburn University to purchase an Alkaline Digester Carcass Disposal System to be placed at the J.B. Taylor Diagnostic Laboratory in Elba, Alabama. The purchase of this system will allow Alabama to move into the forefront of agroterrorism prevention and response. Given the concerns that have been expressed about new animal diseases, I felt it was important for Alabama to have such an important tool for the quick disposal of diseased animals so we may prevent a wide-spread outbreak and protect our agricultural producers and consumers."