WASHINGTON — Language that would have mandated how livestock farmers, specifically those in the poultry industry, care and house their livestock has been removed from the Senate mark of the 2013 farm bill.

“What we understand right now is the language is not included — they took it out,” said Colin Woodall, vice president of government affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

The NCBA was one of several national agriculture and farm organizations that voiced strong opposition to the inclusion of language from an agreement between the United Egg Producers and the Humane Society of the United States in the farm bill.

“We learned that the Egg Products Inspection Act amendments of 2013, Senate Bill 820, had been attached to the 2013 farm bill,” said Chase Adams, director of communications for NCBA. “We are adamantly opposed to anything that is a production mandate. We are opposed to Congress, in any way, mandating the way that animals are raised.”

Woodall said Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., likely would follow the same course as she and the committee did for the Senate mark of the 2012 farm bill.

“The Senate will move forward with their mark of the farm bill on May 9. If Senator Stabenow runs it like she did last year, they will finish it that day,” he said. “She has indicated her intention is to get it done in one day. That means it will be ready to go to the floor anytime between the end of this week and when they break for Memorial Day on May 24.”

Woodall cautioned that the issue isn’t dead and likely will come up again in relation to this farm bill.

“We don’t know for sure whether or not it will be an amendment or if it will come up on the floor. We do expect it to still come up. This is not the end of it,” he said.

Last year, Stabenow and the Senate Agriculture Committee moved the Senate version of the 2012 farm bill onto the Senate floor, where it passed on June 21 on a 64-35 vote. The Senate version of the 2012 farm bill would have saved $23.6 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The House Agriculture Committee passed its version, HR 6083, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act, out of committee on July 12 on a 35-11 vote. That bill would have achieved $35.1 billion in direct spending cuts over 10 years, according to the CBO.

However, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, refused to bring the House version to the floor for a vote before he adjourned the House members to return to their districts prior to the November 2012 elections. That action moved the farm bill to the 113th Congress for action.

Prior to the news of the language not being included in the farm bill mark itself, Adams said that the NCBA would oppose any farm bill that included the language. The NCBA was joined in its opposition by major players in U.S. agriculture, including the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Pork Producers Council.

In addition, at least one senator voiced his objections to the inclusion of livestock production mandates in the farm bill.

“Senator Johanns has said he is opposed to that language. He feels that it’s a power grab to take something that is traditionally regulated at the state level and move it to the federal level. Once a regulation gets moved to the federal level, rather than those regulations having flexibility and be able to be adapted, they end up getting broader and broader and becoming a one-size-fits-all regulation. He would oppose the language based on the regulatory issues,” said Nick Simpson, spokesman for Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., and former U.S. secretary of agriculture under former President George W. Bush.