Last Friday, House and Senate conference-committee members worked out an agreement to provide an additional $3.1 billion in drought funding. The additional money for drought assistance was taken from the increased conservation funding included in the 2002 Farm Bill.

The big news for dairy producers is that the bill also includes $21 million in funding for the first year of the new national Johne's Program and an additional $1 million for research on Johne's disease. And, $15 million has been earmarked to address bovine tuberculosis problems in the El Paso, Texas, area.