Agricultural research is the backbone to a profitable corn industry and a thriving rural economy, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) notes. NCGA is urging Congress to reinvest in research to help advance and improve agriculture research as it begins reviewing the Research Title (Title VII) of the 2002 farm bill.

NCGA supports strengthening the Research Title of the farm bill through the creation of a new program of competitive, merit-based grants for fundamental agricultural research. The program would be supported by mandatory funding within USDA.

“Ideally, we believe this new program would complement existing programs by improving agricultural science outcomes that could lead to advances such as healthier foods,” says NCGA President Ken McCauley. “NCGA recognizes that this kind of change requires increased resources, and as such, supports increased funding for food and agricultural research.”

NCGA also desires better coordination within the Interagency Working Group focused on plant genetics to avoid redundancy and refine boundaries. USDA will best serve the research community in this area by warehousing data and focusing on the functionality of plant genomes, says McCauley.