Earlier this month, the Congressional Research Service released a report assessing the USDA’s Research, Education and Economics (REE) mission of accelerating science in the agricultural sector. Responsibility for implementing the REE mission is distributed amongst the Agricultural Research Service, which had a FY16 discretionary budget of $1.144 billion for salaries and expenses; the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which had a total FY16 budget of $168 million; the Economic Research Service, with a total FY16 budget of $85 million; and the National Agriculture Statistics Service, with a total budget of $1.326 billion. In FY16, the REE’s total discretionary funding was $2.937 billion, while mandatory funding as a result of the farm bill of 2014 includes an additional $120 million, on average, each year. In FY10, federal funding levels for agricultural research were at an all-time high, though they began to decrease in FY11 due to budget cuts. In 2009, 68% of the total $13.9 billion for agricultural research spending came from the private sector. The report stressed the need for innovations and new technologies related to production, processing and resource management to continue the economic growth of the agricultural sector, whether funded by public or private sources.

Source: Congressional Research Service

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