- On March 19, 2020
Earlier this fiscal year, Congress passed a final spending package for the federal government for Fiscal Year 2020. Included in the legislation was a $1 million increase in the baseline budget for the Germplasm Enhancement of Maize (GEM) project, which is housed under USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. The GEM project is focused on adapting exotic corn germplasm for use in the U.S. and on identifying useful genetics in exotic landraces to develop new hybrids. It is a public-private partnership that is heavily supported by ASTA and the corn seed industry.
This increase in funding will bring GEM’s baseline budget up to $2.8 million dollars and will allow the two program sites – house in Ames, Iowa, and Raleigh, North Carolina – to update equipment and facilities in order to keep pace with research needs. This is an increase ASTA has supported for over ten years, and we are thrilled to see the increase approved by Congress.