A media report says President Trump’s budget proposal contains $46.54 billion in cuts to government funding in the Ag sector, with those cuts spread out over ten years. The biggest proposed cut is $38 billion dollars from farm support programs. Those cuts include new limits on federal subsidies for crop insurance premiums and a cap on potential commodity program payments. The president proposes a 36 percent cut in the federally subsidized crop insurance program. Crop insurance cuts would yield the largest savings, including $16.2 billion by limiting the government’s share of premiums. It would also save $11.9 billion by eliminating the harvest price option.
The proposed budget cuts would eliminate the Rural Development Program, which provides zero-interest loans to rural utilities and support to rural businesses. It would also reduce government costs for federal inspectors at meat plants in two years by adding $600 million in user fees for the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.
As is the case with most White House budgets, the proposals will be modified or eliminated by Congress. Following the release of the Trump administration’s budget proposal, Agriculture Committee Chairmen Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) issued the following joint statement: “We support the Trump administration’s goal of achieving three percent economic growth for our nation. USDA’s latest estimates find agriculture, food, and related industries contribute $992 billion to our economy. As we debate the budget and the next Farm Bill, we will fight to ensure farmers have a strong safety net so this key segment of our economy can weather current hard times and continue to provide all Americans with safe, affordable food. Also, as a part of Farm Bill discussions, we need to take a look at our nutrition assistance programs to ensure that they are helping the most vulnerable in our society.”
Source: NAFB News Service