Sep 14 2004


Senate Appropriations Committee Passes Agriculture Appropriations Bill

U.S. Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced funding for Alabama agriculture projects included in the Fiscal Year 2005 Agriculture Appropriations Bill.

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 - $1.01 Million
Senator Shelby secured continued funding for aquaculture and fish disease research to be conducted at the Agricultural Research Service facilities located at Auburn University. This bill includes $1.01 million 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."

Precision Agricultural Partnership - $625,000
Sen. Shelby said, "This bill includes $625,000 for the Precision Agricultural Partnership, which conducts research to increase farm and forest productivity. This project uses technologies such as remote sensing, geographic information systems and global positioning systems to aid traditional methods of farming and forestry."

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 - $400,000
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 - $1.02 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. Historically, droughts have resulted in millions of dollars in losses to Alabama's row crop producers. 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 - $1.2 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 - $275,000
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 - $1.45 Million
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."

Horn fly research - $200,000
Sen. Shelby said, "This funding will assist Auburn University in their efforts to develop a horn fly vaccine. Economic losses due to horn fly stress on beef and dairy cattle totaled $1 billion last year, proving the necessity for this invaluable research. This anti-feeding vaccine in development is easily administered, species targeted, long lasting, and environmentally acceptable.”

Isabel and Wiley Hill Conservation Education Center - $500,000
Sen. Shelby said, “This bill includes $500,000 for a cooperative program with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) for conservation education. The DCNR will work cooperatively with the Alabama Wildlife Federation to provide educational materials on conservation and natural resources through the Isabel and Wiley Hill Conservation Education Center in Millbrook, Alabama.”