Cuellar Secures Support for Rural Farmers and Ranchers in FY23 Appropriations Legislation
Provisions include funding for cattle health, Carrizo cane, citrus growers, and cotton pests
Washington | Dana Youngentob, DC Press Secretary (202-340-9148), June 29, 2022
Washington, DC— U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) secured funding and legislative language to improve the livelihoods of rural farmers and ranchers in the FY23 appropriations legislation. The provisions include support for agricultural and cattle health research, Carrizo cane removal, feral hog containment, feral swine eradication efforts, citrus disease research, cotton boll weevil eradication, cotton pest eradication, and livestock gene editing regulations.
“The Federal funding I secured will help South Texas farmers and ranchers to ensure their crops and animals remain healthy and prosperous,” said Congressman Cuellar, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee. “South Texas farmers and ranchers will have the resources they need to control plant and animal pests and pests and diseases that can be crippling to the produces. I will continue to support our rural farmers and ranchers who play such a big role in the South Texas economy. Thank you to my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee for their support.”
More specifically, the key provisions are below. The Bill includes:
$1,736,129,000 for the Agricultural Research Service (ARS).
$112,771,000 for Cattle Health to continue to fund initiatives related to eradication of fever ticks for livestock and wildlife hosts including but not limited to research, data management, infrastructure, and treatment.
The Committee also notes that large dense stands of non-native Carrizo cane occupy the banks and floodplains of the Rio Grande River, providing favorable habitat for agriculturally damaging cattle fever ticks and threatening water supplies for agriculture due to its high evapo-transpiration capacity. The Committee understands APHIS has been working with ARS on biological controls and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for mechanical controls. The Committee includes:
Feral Hogs.—The Committee is concerned that the feral hog population is rapidly expanding despite efforts to constrain their spread. To help prevent further damages to agriculture and urban lands, the Committee provides NRCS: -
Feral swine.—The Committee maintains the 2022 funding level ($1,000,000) for feral swine eradication efforts. The Committee encourages APHIS Wildlife Services to use all approved measures as a force multiplier and prioritize states with the highest population of feral swine.
Citrus Disease Research Program.—The Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program is intended to discover and develop tools for early detection, control, and eradication of diseases and pests that threaten domestic citrus production and processing. The program receives $25,000,000 per year in mandatory funding from the Specialty Crop Research Initiative. The Committee believes research projects funded under this authority should be prioritized based on the critical threat of citrus greening and encourages NIFA, to the maximum extent practicable, to follow the recommendations of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Advisory Board's citrus disease subcommittee and to collaborate with the HLB MAC group. The Committee provides:
$11,514,000 for Huanglongbing Multi-Agency Coordination (HLB-MAC) projects under the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
$71,528,000 for fruit fly exclusion and detection.
$15,950,000 for Cotton pests Account, including $2,000,000 to continue eradication efforts against the cotton boll weevil.