U.S. Reps. Roger Marshall and Angie Craig have introduced the Pandemic Authority Suitable To Utilize Reserve Easements (PASTURE) Act, which would expand USDA’s authority under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). This legislation would authorize USDA to open CRP acreage for emergency haying and grazing beyond weather-related need to include during pandemics. A companion bill was put forth in the Senate by Sens. John Thune and Tina Smith.
The PASTURE Act was introduced following a letter sent by NCBA and 35 state associations, including KLA, urging Congress to grant USDA this authority. There is concern some livestock producers could face a forage shortage due to the need to feed cattle longer as the industry continues to work through the backlog created by disruptions in the processing segment during the pandemic.
NCBA and KLA will continue to work with Congress to ensure producers receive much-needed flexibility during this time. To read the letter in its entirety, click here.