BIO Applauds Bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill
“BIO applauds the Farm Bill Conference Committee, led by Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and representatives Michael Conaway (R-TX) and Collin Peterson (D-MN), on coming to a long-term agreement on a 2018 Farm Bill. At a time of uncertainty for our nation’s farmers, the agricultural economy, and rural America, this bipartisan Farm Bill will provide the much-needed confidence and certainty for many Americans who rely on its programs and funding.
“As a result of BIO’s advocacy, the conference committee provided mandatory funding for key programs in the Farm Bill’s energy title. While BIO would have preferred the conference committee adopted the Senate-passed funding levels for the title, we applaud the conferees for understanding the importance of these programs and thank them for providing mandatory funding to allow these programs to continue. As I testified to Congress when work first began on this important legislation, the Farm Bill’s energy title programs are critical to our nation’s farmers and rural communities as they develop new renewable chemicals, bio-based products, advanced biofuels, and other products of industrial biotechnology.
“Due to the adoption of several program improvements BIO promoted, the updated energy title ensures that new, innovative technologies and processes can qualify for these critical programs. This will help create entirely new value chains for sustainable, renewable products. It will also grow and strengthen America’s rural economy by allowing companies to rapidly commercialize renewable chemicals, bio-based products, advanced biofuels, and other products of industrial biotechnology.
“Additionally, BIO applauds the Farm Bill’s negotiators for including the Growing American Food Exports Act, which reauthorizes funds to USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and reaffirms FAS’s broad authority to advocate on behalf of all agricultural technologies. These resources will also allow FAS to continue advocating for reduced trade barriers on behalf of America’s farmers and rural communities.
“Lastly, BIO thanks the conference committee for including language from the House version of the bill that directs definitional clarity and a regulatory improvement report for biostimulants. Biostimulants have tremendous potential to provide a new class of tools to farmers that will help with conservation, crop improvement, disease prevention and other uses, and this legislation establishes a clearer path for these tools going forward.
“BIO urges Congress to move swiftly to pass this greatly needed legislation. Moreover, BIO looks forward to continuing to work with Congress and the Administration to ensure the 2018 Farm Bill is implemented in a timely manner.”