June 26, 2018

Wyden, Crapo, Push for Northwest Small Fruits Growers

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, today introduced an amendment to the Senate Farm Bill to allow federal funding to go toward the kind of research that propels the agricultural competitiveness of Oregon, Idaho and the Pacific Northwest forward.

The senators’ bipartisan amendment would bolster the Northwest Center for Small Fruits Research’s ability to receive federal grant funding for research into crop resilience for agricultural products like grapes, blueberries and cranberries. Oregon ranks among the top states for growing blackberries, blueberries and strawberries. And Idaho is known for its apples, cherries and apricots.

Oregon State University, Washington State University, the University of Idaho and the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agriculture Research Service all partner together to research new ways to increase crop resilience.

“The seeds of innovation that our state cultivates through ground-breaking research to improve crop development make up a huge part of Oregon’s bounty,” Wyden said. “Our bipartisan amendment takes advantage of so much of what the Pacific Northwest has to offer – from our internationally renowned blueberries and raspberries – to our cutting-edge research that allows American farmers to grow some of the best crops in the world.”

“Idaho’s hot summer days, cool evenings, and long-held expertise and research in the field make our state a natural leader in Northwest fruit production and that leadership should be noted as we finalize the next farm bill,” Crapo said.

The Senate is considering the Farm Bill this week and is expected to vote on it before the end of the week.