WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — As a strong advocate for wheat and oat research, the North American Millers’ Association (NAMA) said on Feb. 14 that it strongly supports President Obama’s 2013 budget request to increase funding for grain crops research in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

The proposed budget funds agricultural research that is essential for improving yield, nutritional quality and disease resistance.

“Research has given public wheat breeders the ability to use DNA markers to expedite the selection process,” said NAMA President Mary Waters. “This advanced utilization of wheat genomics is possible because of the investments in ARS regional genotyping labs. NAMA encourages Congress to approve the proposed budget which will allow ARS labs across the country to continue this and other research projects important to the milling industry as well as to users and consumers of grain products.”

NAMA learned about the president’s budget request at a briefing with USDA Under Secretary Catherine Woteki. Subject to review, potential modification, and approval by Congress by Oct. 1, 2012, the budget request for ARS research programs proposes a new increase of $8 million above the current 2012 operating level. The 2013 budget recommends selected high priority research initiatives that address the administration’s science and technology priorities.