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Enthusiastic reception for new US Farm Bill

Friday May 30 2008

THE California Farm Bureau Federation has welcomed the final congressional passage of a new, five-year farm bill, hailing it as a 'breakthrough bill.'

The bill includes, for the first time, specific investments in marketing, research and export programmes for fruit, vegetable and nut crops. The so-called "specialty crop" provisions also expand federal nutrition programmes to include additional purchases of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Alongside this, the farm bill also expands conservation schemes that have proven popular with California farmers, particularly the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). This shares costs with farmers who invest in projects to improve air and water quality and wildlife habitat.

California will also gain from farm bill programmes to keep invading pests and diseases out of the country.

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