ASA: Impact of continuing resolution on soybean farmers
The rule is now postponed until the end of FY13 on Sept. 30. ASA strongly supported this postponement and is supporting legislation that would adjust the minimum capacity upward to 10,000 gallons while the aggregate level on a production facility would move to 42,000 gallons. The proposal would also place a greater degree of responsibility on the farmer or rancher to self-certify compliance if it exceeds the exemption level.
Also included in the CR was the ASA-supported Farmer Assurance Provision, language that states farmers may continue to plant seeds bearing traits that have been deregulated by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) without threat of disruption as a result of court decisions. The provision addresses the potential for protracted delays in commercializing new traits pending court-ordered environmental impact reviews. Finally, the provision only applies to biotech traits that have completed the required regulatory review process, and does not restrict the right to challenge USDA’s determination that a trait does not pose a plant pest risk.
Finally, ASA welcomes provisions included in the CR that shift funding within USDA to ensure the continuation of inspections of packinghouses and slaughterhouses, averting potential furloughs for the nation’s meat inspectors and the resulting shut-down of slaughterhouses and processing plants that would have very negatively affected the livestock industry. More than 98 percent of the soybean meal produced in the U.S. goes to the livestock sector in the form of animal feed, and disruptions within that industry adversely impact soybean farmers as well.
ASA represents all U.S. soybean farmers on domestic and international issues of importance to the soybean industry. ASA’s advocacy efforts are made possible through voluntary farmer membership by farmers in 30 states where soybeans are grown.