The House Appropriations Committee recently earmarked funding for grain research and initiatives during its June 14 markup to discuss the 2024 fiscal spending bill for programs in agriculture, rural development, the Food and Drug Administration and other related agencies. 

An increase of $500,000 was allocated to genetic oat research, one of the top priorities for the North American Millers’ Association (NAMA), an advocacy trade group representing millers of wheat, corn, oats and rye in the United States and Canada. 

Prior to the markup, Representative Andy Harris of Maryland, chairman for one of the Appropriations’ subcommittees, submitted a report indicating the increase in research funding was intended to be used to enhance oat crops to the benefit of both producers and consumers. 

“The committee recognizes the potential of genetic oat research to improve disease resistance, especially rusts and viruses, advance genetics, increase yields and develop crop rotation systems that will include oats,” the report said.

The report also indicated the committee would supply $1 million toward wheat stem sawfly and Hessian fly research as part of the Wheat Resiliency Initiative.

Additionally, the report acknowledged the importance of research through the US Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative to combat Fusarium head blight and control its impact on yield and quality losses in US grain crops, but a specific funding amount was not provided in the report.