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Published November 12, 2013, 08:33 PM

A 2010 California law dispute may add complications for a new five-year farm bill

A dispute over a 2010 California law concerning the treatment of egg-laying chickens looks like it may add to the complications for congressional negotiators trying to reach agreement on a new five-year farm bill this week.

A dispute over a 2010 California law concerning the treatment of egg-laying chickens looks like it may add to the complications for congressional negotiators trying to reach agreement on a new five-year farm bill this week.

The law hasn't sat well with producers in the Midwest, where most of the nation's eggs are produced. It originated in a 2008 ballot initiative in California pushed by animal rights groups that mandated that all eggs produced in the state must come from hens who have enough space to spread their wings in their coops, far more space than most commercial egg operations provide. North Dakota Senator John Hoeven says he remains optimistic a deal will get done.

Senator Hoeven said, "I believe we need to get a compromised bill out of the conference committee by thnaksgiving so we can get it to the Senate floor between Thanksgiving and Christmas and get it done by the end of the year."

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