Speculation on the 2012 Farm Bill Underway

2012 Means New Farm Bill

2012 brings many things, and a new farm bill is one of them. Negotiations are set to begin in the next month. NC Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler says this is one piece of important legislation:

“Well, we’re talking about writing the biggest chunk of policy in the country. This is really, really, important when it comes to the future of farming.”

After the failure of the bi-partisan Super Committee last year to cut $23 billion from the ag budget over the next 10 years, and in essence writing the next Farm Bill, negotiations should proceed as they have in other years:

“We think.  But, who knows when you’re dealing with Washington?   We really don’t know. But, this first proposal would have saved taxpayers $23 billion over 10 years and it would have done away with some of the farm subsidies. And when the super committee failed, this version of the farm bill went with it.”

But, according to Troxler, the work that the Super Committee did may not be lost:

“There’s always the opportunity to transfer the work that the super committee did and make that the farm bill.”

Since it’s also a major election year, Troxler says there’s also the possibility of a Farm Bill extension into 2013.
 

New Nomenclature for Swine-Origin Influenza

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now has a new nomenclature for swine-origin influenza viruses identified in humans. It will now be referred to as “variant” viruses and denoted with a “v.”  Influenza viruses identified in swine populations will continue to be referred to as “swine influenza” viruses. The decision was made after discussions among the World Health Organization, the World Organization for Animal Health, the Food and Agriculture Organization, CDC, and other U.S. federal agencies.

The CDC says human infections with the influenza viruses currently circulating among swine are rare.
 

Final Poultry Rules Announced

The Food and Drug Administration has published the final guidance to help egg producers comply with the new FDA egg safety rule. According to the FDA announcement, – the final guidance differs from the draft guidance in that it addresses environmental sampling plans for a variety of poultry house styles, as requested by commenters.


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