June 23, 2006

Wyden, Smith Win Substantial Funds for Oregon Agriculture Projects

Appropriations would support research, conservation, agricultural advances

Washington, DC U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) today announced that Oregon should receive substantial funds for agricultural projects under the Senates agriculture appropriations legislation. Much of the funding will support research at Oregon State University, known as a regional leader in the study of agriculture. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the bill this week; the legislation now moves to the full Senate for consideration.Research and conservation efforts, like those funded in this bill, will help to keep Oregon one of the worlds leading agriculture producers, said Wyden. Oregons economy depends on a strong agricultural industry and the work of farmers and researchers alike is vital to maintaining our agricultural strength.Oregons farmers feed the world, Smith said. Ensuring Oregons agriculture industry remains competitive in a global market requires the latest technology. The bill will make several investments that will help Oregons farmers continue to grow crops that are in top demand.Oregon State University will receive funding for numerous projects, including:? The Solutions to Environmental and Economic Problems (STEEP) III project will receive $634,000;? $446,000 to be shared among Oregon, Idaho and Washington for research to identify improved grass seed crop management and conservation practices;? $439,000 for the Northwest Center for Small Fruits Research, to be shared among Oregon, Idaho and Washington;? $361,000 for research at the National Laboratory for Molluscan Broodstock in Newport;? $349,000 for multi-commodity research; and? $257,000 for the meadowfoam research project, an effort to increase the supply of renewable industrial oils.OSU will also share in a $6.371 million multi-state appropriation for wood utilization research.Additionally, the following projects were also slated for funding:? $400,000 for expanded research on Sudden Oak Death;? $300,000 for the Medusahead Challenge, the consortium of land owners and managers in eastern Oregon to implement a strategic plan to combat the spread of the Medusahead weed;? $250,000 for the Small Fruits Initiative for the blueberry breeding program; and? $150,000 for Shellfish Genetics in Newport.Oregon will share in $675,000 of USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service funds for Barley Genome Mapping and $1.482 million for potato research.The legislation recommends funding for two new projects: the City of Coburg waste water project, and the Baker County Integrated Wood Utilization Center.The legislation also recommends continued funding for numerous existing projects including a hops genetic research project, NW Small Fruits Research, and Range and Forage Management projects in Burns.