Congress voted Nov. 17, on a $19.8-billion 2012 ag-spending bill that includes language blocking USDA from implementing controversial reforms to livestock and poultry marketing. The so-called GIPSA rule, proposed last year by the USDA’s Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyard’s Administration, would have wreaked havoc on the U.S. cattle industry causing livestock producers to lose an estimated $169 million, according to Colin Woodall, National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) vice president of government affairs. He says Congress barred USDA from conducting any further work this year on sections of the rule not yet finalized.

“We stand firm behind those members of Congress who were willing to listen and understand the concerns of cattlemen, leading trade organizations, economists, consumers and others. This was a vote in favor of innovative family-owned farms and ranches,” says Woodall.

The agricultural appropriations bill is part of a $1.04-trillion bill adopted by both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. The agricultural spending bill will halt USDA from working this year on sections of the rule mandated by Congress during the 2008 Farm Bill related to competitive injury, unfair practices and undue preference.

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