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Senators Want to Bolster Research of Organic Agriculture

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A pair of U.S. senators is introducing legislation designed to improve organic farming research.

Democratic Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine say their legislation would reauthorize and incrementally increase funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative.

They say federal investment in organic agriculture research hasn't kept up with the growth of the industry. One of the consequences of that, they say, is that U.S. production of organic products has not kept up with demand from consumers.

Collins says Maine's organic agriculture industry has grown by more than 75 percent over the past five years. She says increasing federal investment in research will help make sure farmers have the resources to meet demand from the public.

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