U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts and his conference committee colleagues announced last week the new Farm Bill would not be completed before the current bill expired September 30, 2018. The group released a statement on progress of the new Farm Bill.
“Each of us is still at the negotiating table, and we remain committed to working together on a Farm Bill. Our conversations are productive, and progress toward an agreement is taking shape. We are going to get this right,” the statement read.
As Farm Bill negotiations continue, NCBA will press for key cattle industry priorities, including the creation of a new foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) vaccine bank and a strong conservation title.
KLA President Lee Reeve of Garden City authored an opinion-editorial in the September 24 Topeka Capital-Journal emphasizing the need for authorization and full funding of the FMD vaccine bank in the new Farm Bill. He pointed out the current U.S. bank contains only enough vaccine for a small, confined FMD outbreak. Reeve said the $150 million per year for five years it would take to get the vaccine bank up and running may seem high, but must be weighed against the potential consequences and economic losses of an outbreak. A study released by Iowa State University concluded an uncontained FMD outbreak in the U.S. would cost the beef and pork sectors more than $128 billion over 10 years.