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National Agricultural Aviation Association eNewsletter
Voice of the Aerial Application Industry
July 13, 2017
House Appropriations Committee Approves Fiscal 2018 Bill with Aerial Research Support Language but Fewer Dollars for USDA

Since 2002 NAAA has been successful in lobbying the government for an additional $8.9 million in federal funding for aerial application technology research.

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee passed a fiscal year 2018 funding bill for the USDA with $1 billion fewer dollars compared to the 2017 fiscal year. The federal budget calendar runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. 


The spending bill cut the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), where the aerial application research unit is housed, by 3 percent compared to last year. However, NAAA again successfully pushed for language in the committee report to the bill indicating Congress’s continued support of the USDA-ARS Aerial Application Technology Program. 


The report reads in part, “The Committee recognizes the importance of the ARS Aerial Application Technology Program. The program conducts innovative research making aerial applications more efficient, effective, and precise. Research for aerial application serves the public good as a vital tool for the future, as agriculture strives to meet the food, fiber, and bio-energy demands of a growing population.”


The mention of aerial application within the report supporting the legislation is no small feat, as it is one of only a few ag programs specifically mentioned. NAAA will continue to work for adequate USDA-ARS funding for the continued design of aerial application technologies, tools and techniques that mitigate drift, result in fuel savings and make aerial applications more efficacious. Favorable committee report language sends a strong message to the USDA to continue to sustain appropriate funding for aerial application research despite the budget cuts. Since 2002 NAAA has been successful in lobbying the government for an additional $8,912,500 in federal funding for aerial application technology research.


The spending bill still needs to be passed by the entire House and Senate, then signed by President Trump. The President’s original budget called for a 21 percent, or $360 million, cut to the Agricultural Research Service within the USDA. This would mean closing the doors at 17 research centers. NAAA will keep the membership informed of federal agricultural spending, particularly as it pertains to research for aerial application technology conducted at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service.

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This newsletter is intended for NAAA members only. NAAA requests that should any party desire to publish, distribute or quote any part of this newsletter that they first seek the permission of the Association. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA), its Board of Directors, staff or membership. Items in this newsletter are not the result of paid advertising and are only meant to highlight newsworthy developments. No endorsement by NAAA is intended or implied.
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