“As deliberations on the next Farm Bill begin to heat up, the high temperatures that have descended on American farmland remind us that farmers everywhere can’t beat the heat without more science. We commend House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway and Ranking Member Collin C. Peterson for focusing on agricultural research.
“The epic heatwave that is currently baking Texas and America’s south and west is only one of the many challenges that farmers face. California’s Central Valley, one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world, has gone from years of drought to a surplus of precipitation this winter, and now, too much heat. Each of these weather patterns brings its own set of challenges—from soil health to new crop pests to locating new water resources.
“Innovation is key as farmers and food producers wrestle with unstable markets for their inputs and outputs. This innovation is driven by federally funded agricultural research, which provides the basic research foundation for all of the high-tech answers. As the 2018 Farm Bill is drafted and debated, we look forward to keeping farm science programs like the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative—the USDA’s flagship competitive research program—in the middle of the conversation.”