June 25, 2018


US House passes 2018 farm bill; agri sector cheers move



In a second round of voting, the US House of Representative finally passed the 2018 farm bill, 213-211, on June 21, leading the agriculture sector to hail the move.


"Today's vote means that American cattlemen and women are one step closer to having the certainty they need to continue running their operations and contributing to rural economies", said Kevin Kester, president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA).


US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue also applauded the passage of the bill, saying a farm bill was still "critically important to give the agriculture community some much-needed reassurance".


"No doubt, there is still much work to be done on this legislation in both chambers of Congress, and USDA stands ready to assist with whatever counsel lawmakers may request or require"," he added.


In the first voting on May 18, the House of Representative failed to pass the bill.


Senate has yet to vote on farm bill


In the Senate, the farm bill was approved by the Senate agriculture committee on June 13.


NCBA' Kester said the House-passed bill "addresses a number of priorities for producers, including authorization and funding for a national vaccine bank that prioritizes foot and mouth disease prevention".


He added that the bill also strengthens conservation programmes and improves the US Department of Agriculture's foreign market-development activities.


Meanwhile, the Organic Trade Association also applauded the passage of the 2018 farm bill as, it said, it contained strong provisions that would advance American organic agriculture and the organic sector.


"The bill contains many of the top priorities of the Organic Trade Association, including important tools and funding to ensure the integrity of organic throughout the supply chain, increased funding for the flagship Organic Research and Extension Initiative programme, and full funding for the Organic Data Initiative", it said. 


The current farm bill expires on Sept. 30.-Rick Alberto

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