U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar says she'll try to preserve funding for a University of Minnesota laboratory that researches plant diseases.
President George Bush's budget proposal would cut $300,000 for the United States Dept. Agriculture's Cereal Rust Laboratory on the St. Paul campus.
Klobuchar said the proposed cut comes at a time when wheat crops worldwide are being threatened by a new kind of wheat rust that has wiped out crops in Africa. The Minnesota Democrat says the St. Paul facility is one of only three in the world trying to grow wheat that's resistant to the new fungus.
"Food prices have gone up, last eight years - by $100-200 a year for the average family. A shortage of wheat worldwide makes that worse," Klobuchar said.
Klobuchar said Congress was able to maintain funding for the lab last year, after an earlier cut proposal from the White House.