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House passes bill to maintain ag research programs

July 12, 2001

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed an agricultural spending bill that will allow research programs in Imperial County to continue, Congressman Duncan Hunter announced today.

"The Imperial Valley is unique in the sense that our agriculture production is year-round," said Hunter, who represents the Imperial Valley.

"As a result, our area serves as an important resource for the researchers who develop scientific information that benefit our nation's agriculture industry. The funding provided in this bill allows vital research regarding invasive species and crop diseases to continue in the Imperial Valley," Hunter said.

Many of the spending provisions in the agriculture bill are consistent with federal funding provided in previous years. Of the programs Hunter specifically requested, $48.5 million was designated for research of plant pests that pose serious threats to Imperial Valley crops such as the Silverleaf Whitefly, Pink Bollworm, Pink Hibiscus Mealybug, Citrus Leafminer and the Glassy-winged Sharpshooter.

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Hunter also secured $292,000 to maintain personnel from the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the research station located in Brawley.

The agriculture funding legislation has been referred to the Senate where it is awaiting consideration.

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