House agriculture committee releases farm bill

House Agriculture Committee Chairman, Mike Conaway, unveiled the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 yesterday. The rewrite of the 2014 farm bill includes several “wins” for the agriculture research. The bill included the competitive research equipment grants program authorized at $5 million per year which ASA, CSSA, and SSSA requested as part of our farm bill priorities. The bill also removes the AFRI matching requirement for competitive grants within NIFA. Lastly, the legislation recognizes the CCA and CPAg programs as qualified certifications, part of an effort to make it easier for CCAs to deliver NRCS conservation services. The bill did not, however, mention the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) or including any additional funding for the NIFA competitive grants program, AFRI. Senate ag leaders said they are still weeks away from introducing their own bill. The House bill will be marked up next week.