U.S. Senate Passes Farm Bill Helpful for Florida

The U.S. Senate has approved a farm bill that would, among other things, provide an additional $125 million to combat a deadly citrus disease, known as greening.

The bill, which was approved Friday by a vote of 86 - 11, included a provision at the request of Florida U.S. Senator Bill Nelson to provide scientists and researchers an additional $125 million to help find a cure to the deadly citrus disease.

Greening is a disease that many in the agriculture industry say has the potential to wipe out Florida’s $9 billion citrus industry.

The funding is on top the $125 million Nelson helped secure in the 2014 farm bill to help researchers find a cure to the disease.

Nelson said there is a reason to press for the funding. 

He said a key Florida crop was in the cross-hairs.

According to a statement from the Senator's office, Nelson said, "If we don’t find a cure to this deadly disease soon, we won’t be growing oranges in Florida much longer."

The U.S. House of Representatives has already passed its farm bill of its own. 

The House and Senate bills now head to a conference committee where lawmakers from both chambers will be tasked with working out differences between them.


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