Jan 6, 20232023 Omnibus Appropriations Bill includes pecan research projects
The U.S. Congress has passed the $1.7 trillion fiscal year 2023 Omnibus Appropriations bill. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 consists of all 12 FY23 appropriation bills, including the $25.5 billion Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies funding bill.
The bill includes the following pecan research projects supported by the National Pecan Federation (NPF):
- Pecan Genetic Research — $4 million to maintain pecan genetic resources, further characterize pecan genetic diversity, and advance cultivar breeding through novel genomic approaches that tap into the unique pecan genetic resources held by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
- Pecan Processing Research — $4 million for new pecan processing technologies, in particular pasteurization and cracking/shelling technologies to further knowledge of the pasteurization process for food safety and continue export growth.
“The National Pecan Federation appreciates the inclusion of these important pecan research projects in the appropriations bill,” stated Larry Don Womack, chairman of the National Pecan Federation. “Pecan genetic research and pecan processing research are essential for the advancement and health of the pecan economy.”
The appropriations agreement also includes language related to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) stating “the agreement expects NASS to continue its ongoing activities at the frequency levels assumed in fiscal year 2022, including barley acreage and production estimates; the Bee and Honey Program; the Chemical Use Data Series; the Floriculture Crops Report; and Fruit and Vegetable Reports, including in-season forecasts for non-citrus fruit and tree nut crops such as pecans.” This is an important asset for the pecan industry to have accurate information on the pecan crop.
The omnibus package includes over $3 billion for disaster assistance “related to the loss of revenue, quality or production losses of crops, trees, bushes, and vines, as a consequence of droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, floods, derechos, excessive heat, tornadoes, winter storms, freeze, including a polar vortex, smoke exposure, and excessive moisture occurring in calendar year 2022”. The process for receiving disaster assistance will be determined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture following the appropriation of the funds.
“Many pecan growers in the West were hit hard by drought and severe heat this year,” said Womack. “The disaster assistance provisions in this legislation are essential to ensuring that pecan growers are able to stay in business.”
– National Pecan Federation