Farm Bill Reaction - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Farm Bill Reaction

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The new farm bill is expected to get a vote in the US Senate this week.

It's widely expected to pass and to get the president's signature.

And if that happens it will mark the first time a farm bill has included money for research into peas, lentils, and other pulse crops.

Greg Johnson of North Dakota Port Services is the chairman of the American Pulse Association and says the farm bill's inclusion of pulse research is a major accomplishment at a time when legislators were looking for savings.

(Greg Johnson, American Pulse Association) "It's exciting because all we talk about is the negativeness, yet you see in the farm bill $25 billion in savings or something like that, there is still room for things that have a future to them."

He says the health benefits of the crops need to be better understood and promoted to help Americans identify the advantages of eating the products.

(Greg Johnson, American Pulse Association) "We want to educate our children. Our children, as we know, will adjust their eating habits if it's something they like to eat. We need to also educate them on the nutritional value of the crop and what it can do in a product to them. At the end of the day whether it's pulses or other products our farmers produce in the US, we can make a healthier diet for our children and they'll be healthier as adults."

Johnson says the farm bill in its final form included 25 million dollars per year for five years devoted to research on pulse crops including looking for ways to make the products more convenient for consumers.

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