The Senate and House last week approved a compromise fiscal 2010 agriculture appropriations bill, which would provide $121.2 billion, including $23.3 billion in discretionary funds. The Senate voted 76-22 for passage; the House approved the measure on a 263-162 vote.

The bill includes $5.3 million for the U.S.D.A.’s National Animal Identification System. In addition, dairy farmers would benefit from $350 million in emergency funding approved by the Senate on Thursday as it cleared the bill for President Obama's signature.
The bill also delivers a record $58.2 billion for the food stamp program, which when combined with benefit increases passed under Obama's stimulus bill earlier in the year would mean a 19 percent increase in food stamp spending above current levels.

The Texas Cattle Feeders Association notes these highlights in the bill:  

  • $1.09 million for the ongoing feedyard air quality research being conducted by West Texas A&M University, Texas AgriLife Research, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Kansas State University and USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS);
  • $16.764 million for the bovine TB program ($2 million of which has been earmarked for depopulation indemnity payments);
  • $13.157 million for cattle fever tick control;
  • $1.5 million for NBAF Transitional Research at KansasStateUniversity;
  • $200 million for the Market Access Program;
  • $34.5 million for the Foreign Market Development Program;
  • $350 million in aid for dairies ($290 million for direct support to dairy farmers and $60 million for purchases of surplus cheese and other dairy products); and
  • Language authorizing USDA to perform a science-based risk-assessment to determine if Chinese poultry products are safe for importation to the U.S.

  The projects contained in the conference report are available online.

The full text is available here.