Future Washington Week: Controversial Livestock Reforms Coming | 2022-06-18

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The Senate Agriculture Committee is expected this week to approve proposals aimed at reducing the market power of meat processors, but producers have long been divided.
The Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act would authorize the USDA to prescribe minimum levels of cattle cash transactions, while the Meat and Poultry Special Investigations Act would create a new office in USDA’s Packers and Livestock Division to Investigate allegations of unfair marketing practices.
Sen. John Bozeman of Arkansas, the top Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee, acknowledged that the committee would likely approve both bills with his opposition.
The House passed a version of the special investigators bill last week as part of a package of measures that Democrats say will lower food and fuel costs.But it’s unclear when or if any bill in the Senate will get a vote.
When asked whether the committee approved the bills, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow said, “We’ll see from there what the process is.”
Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., the lead sponsor of the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act, said she hopes the full Senate will consider her measure this fall.
It is unusual for Congress to pass legislation related to agriculture that divides agricultural groups.The American Farm Bureau Federation opposed the cash transaction directive and raised concerns over the Investigator Act.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association opposes both bills, but the American Cattlemen’s Association supports them.
Also this week, the Supreme Court could announce as early as Tuesday whether it will hear oral arguments in a case involving the Roundup herbicide.
The court has been considering a petition filed by Bayer, which is backed by dozens of farm groups, conservative legal foundations and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.The question is whether states can require wording on pesticide labels that differs from what is required by federal regulations.
The technical question is whether the Federal Pesticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act takes precedence over state tort claims, like the thousands of cases brought by plaintiffs alleging that exposure to Roundup caused cancer.Monsanto and its supporters argue that FIFRA expressly prohibits “any labelling or packaging requirements in addition to or different from those of FIFRA.”
On Wednesday, the House Agriculture Committee will hold another hearing on the farm bill, this time focusing on dairy programs.
Then on Saturday, the committee will hold a regional hearing at Arizona’s universities, chaired by Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-Ariz., and Cherry Bustos, chair of the House Agribusiness Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee. D-Ill). Another listening session is scheduled for July in California.
On Thursday, the House Appropriations Committee will debate the fiscal 2023 spending bill from the USDA, the Food and Drug Administration and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Total discretionary spending in the Farm Bill — the amount of money bound by the annual appropriations bill — was 8 percent higher than the final Congress approved for fiscal year 22, which ends Sept. 30.
Spending levels are sure to be slashed before reaching President Joe Biden’s desk: Senate Republicans are expected to hold off on reaching an agreement on spending levels for FY23 until after the 2023 election.
House appropriators will also begin introducing spending bills this week for the Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, Labor Department and other departments and agencies important to agriculture.
Below is a list of agriculture or rural related events scheduled for this week in Washington and elsewhere (all times EDT):
3:30 p.m. EPA and Army Corps of Engineers hold virtual Northeast-focused roundtable on “Waters of the United States” rules.
4 p.m. — The House Internal Environmental Appropriations Subcommittee meets to consider its fiscal 2023 spending bill 2359 Rayburn.
5:30 pm — House Energy-Water Appropriations Subcommittee meeting to consider its FY23 spending bill, 2359 Rayburn.
9:30 am — The Senate Agriculture Committee meets to consider S. 3870, the Special Investigator of Meat and Poultry Act of 2022 and S. 4030, the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act of 2022, 106 Dirksen.
9:30 a.m. — Senate Subcommittee on Commerce-Judiciary-Science Appropriations Hearing with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, 192 Dirksen.
5 p.m. — The House Out-of-State Business Appropriations Subcommittee meets to consider its FY23 spending bill 2359 Rayburn.
7 p.m. — The House Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Subcommittee meets to consider its FY23 spending bill, 2359 Rayburn.
10 a.m. — House Appropriations Committee meeting to consider the FY23 Farm Spending Bill, 1100 Longworth.
10:30 am — House Agriculture Subcommittee Hearing, “The Future of Digital Asset Regulation,” 1300 Longworth.
4 p.m. — The House Transportation-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee meets to consider its FY23 spending bill, 2359 Rayburn.
5:30 p.m. — House Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee meeting to consider its FY23 spending bill 2359 Rayburn.
9:00 AM – The House Appropriations Committee meets to consider its FY23 Homeland Security, Financial Services and General Government Expenditure Act, 1100 Longworth.
This week’s Open Mic guest is Constance Coleman, President and CEO of the American Feed Industry Association.In addition to concerns about the availability of commodities for future seasons, Cullman said U.S. feed manufacturers are also concerned about trade deals that maintain and expand access to global markets and provide customers with needed mineral inputs.Cullman quipped that the EU’s regulatory structure has more access to feed ingredients that improve herd sustainability than the U.S. Cullman said the country’s road and rail transportation systems have created enormous difficulties in delivering feed to livestock producers in a timely manner.AFIA implores Washington to take all possible precautions to protect the country’s livestock from exotic animal diseases, suggesting the outbreak will affect not only meat exports but feed as well.
In this review article, Mike Ferguson of Gensource Potash discusses how incremental production can be part of the solution to the potash supply situation.
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Post time: Jun-20-2022