On Monday, February 7, 2005, President George W. Bush forwarded the Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 Budget to Congress.
The FY 2006 Budget for the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) includes discretionary funding totaling $1,032,699,000. This represents a decrease of $143,112,000 or approximately 12.17 percent below the FY 2005 Appropriations Act amount of $1,175,811,000. However, this is an increase of $12,677,000 or approximately 1.24 percent above the FY 2005 Presidentís Budget amount of $1,020,022,000. The FY 2006 Budget includes $12,000,000 for the Native American Endowment Fund and an estimated $2,508,000 for interest earned on the Endowment. The FY 2006 Budget also includes mandatory funding of $5,000,000 for the Community Food Projects grant program, and $3,000,000 for the Organic Research and Education Initiative.
The FY 2006 Budget supports the Administrationís commitment to competitive programs and to the streamlining of program delivery. In a time of limited resources this is accomplished by:
increasing funding for the National Research Initiative (NRI),
adding the new State Agricultural Experiment Stations Competitive Grants Program,
reducing funding for the Hatch Act and McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry programs,
eliminating the Animal Health and Disease, Section 1433 Research Program, and
transferring programs authorized by Section 406 of the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 to the NRI and new State Agricultural Experiment Stations Competitive Grants Programs.
The budget proposes funding of $250,000,000 for the NRI to support (a) increases in genomics, food, nutrition and obesity, (b) water quality, food safety, and pest related programs formerly funded under Integrated Activities; and (c) ongoing research activities under the program. This is an increase of $70,448,000 over the FY 2005 Appropriations Act.
The FY 2006 Budget includes funding of $75,000,000 for the new State Agricultural Experiment Stations Competitive Grants Program. This program supports system-wide research planning and coordination and regional, state, and local applied research in areas such as new product/new uses, social sciences, and the environment including ecosystem management. It is proposed that the program also will support research focused on methyl bromide and organic transition formerly funded under Integrated Activities, as well as some of the activities formerly supported by the Hatch Act, McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry, and Animal Health and Disease Programs.
Increases are proposed for the Food and Agriculture Defense Initiative (formerly Homeland Security Program) and the new Higher Education Agrosecurity Program to expand current efforts that address agricultural security issues. The budget proposal includes $3,000,000 for the New Technologies for Ag Extension Program to support systems that will make available research-based education offered by the E-Extension network. Increases are also proposed for the Evans-Allen Program, Graduate Fellowship Program, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, 1890 Institutions Extension Program, and the Outreach and Technical Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers grants program under Section 2501. The FY 2006 Budget includes funding to continue current program activities for most of the other CSREES programs and in some cases restores programs to the FY 2005 Presidentís Budget level.
Earmarked Special Research Grants, Extension and Research Federal Administration projects and grants, and several specific, targeted programs are not proposed for funding in FY 2006.
The Department is prohibited from administering the Initiative for Future Agriculture and Food Systems (IFAFS) by appropriation language. The budget reflects a continuation of this policy and does not propose funding for IFAFS in FY 2006.
The FY 2006 Budget proposes changes in the general provisions including increasing the amount provided for the NRI that may be used for competitive integrated activities from a maximum of 20 percent to a maximum of 30 percent. Also proposed is the elimination of the cap on indirect costs for competitively awarded grants. This elimination allows full indirect cost recovery under competitive awards.
At this time, the Research, Education, and Economics agencies House hearing is scheduled for April 7. No date has been announced for the Senate hearing. We will provide additional information on Congressional hearings and action as it becomes available.