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Pallone: Congress Gives Final Funding Approval for Rutgers Agriculture Research Projects

January 23, 2004
Press Release

Washington, D.C. --- U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) said today that the U.S. Senate approved a giant funding bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2004 that includes funding for two agriculture research projects at Rutgers University. Pallone, whose district includes Rutgers, requested the agricultural funding for the programs in a letter to members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture last year when the appropriations process began.

Blueberry and cranberry research in New Jersey will receive $211,000 in federal funds from special research grants for the Rutgers Blueberry and Cranberry Research Extension Center at Chatsworth.

Pallone said research at the Center is aimed at developing technology to reduce pesticide use in the culture of these two crops and reducing the impact of their production on the environment. These types of crop and technological research are especially important in accommodating continued agricultural production near environmentally sensitive areas, such as wetlands, where these crops must be grown.

The legislation also provides $9.6 million for the Interregional Research Project Number 4 (IR-4), a national research program headquartered at the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station , which facilitates registration and re-registration of pest control agents for use on minor crops.

"Agriculture is a major component of the New Jersey economy," Pallone said. "Much of the research work going on at Rutgers will produce important advances that will increase productivity and boost revenues in New Jersey and around the country. New Jersey ranks first in the nation in fresh market blueberry production and third in cranberries. These funds will benefit our farmers and our states economy."

The funds were included in the $328.1 billion spending bill that combined seven appropriations bills into one omnibus bill funding domestic programs and foreign operations for FY 2004, which officially began on October 1, 2003. The Senates action yesterday came one month after the U.S. House of Representatives approved the same spending bill. The bill now awaits the presidents signature.