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Government Relations & Washington Update

September 2021

Senate Appropriations Committee Approves FY 2022 Agriculture Bill

On August 4th, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its version of the fiscal year 2022 appropriations bill for the Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration.  The bill provides discretionary funding of $25.855 billion, which is an increase of $2.5 billion over fiscal year 2021 enacted levels.

For agricultural research, total funding at USDA would be increased by $292 million over fiscal year 2021 for a total of $3.6 billion.  The Agricultural Research Service is funded at $1.67 billion and includes requested funding to address climate change.  The bill also fully funds the National Bio and Agro Defense Facility.  The National Institute of Food and Agriculture is funded at $1.7 billion with increases for Cooperative Extensive Service, Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, Women and Minorities in STEM program, and several increases for tribal research and education.  ERS would receive $90.8 million, a $5 million increase over FY 2021.  NASS is slated to receive $191.6 million, just under $8 million more than FY 2021.

When compared to the House, ERS, NASS, and ARS would receive larger increases under the Senate bill than the House bill.  For NIFA, Hatch and Smith Lever fare slightly better in the Senate than the House, while AFRI is funded at a higher level by the House.  Below is a summary of key accounts comparing FY 2021 Final with amounts approved by the House and Senate.

    ACCOUNT                                       FY2021 FINAL            FY 2022 House                       FY 2022 Senate

  • ERS                                           $85.5 million               $88.6 million               $90.8 million  
  • NASS                                        $183.9 million            $189.2 million            $191.6 million
  • AGARDA                                   $0                                $2 million                    $0
  • ARS Salaries and Expenses      $1.491 billion             $1.637 billion             $1.675 billion
  • ARS Buildings and Facilities    $35.7 million              $126.5 million            $45.4 million
  • Hatch                                       $259 million               $265 million                $275 million
  • AFRI                                         $435 million               $450 million                $445 million
  • Smith Lever                              $315 million               $320 million                $330 million

The next step in the process is full Senate consideration of the agriculture appropriations bill.  The House passed its version as a part of a multi-appropriations bill package in late July.  As has been common in recent years, it appears unlikely that the House and Senate will reconcile and approve a final version of the FY 2022 agriculture appropriations bill before the end of the fiscal year on September 30th.  A continuing resolution will likely be needed to keep the government funded as Congress works to complete the agriculture and other spending bills for FY 2022.