Friday, 19 October, 2018

Trump Budget Would Erase $38 Billion in Farm Supports

Trump Budget Would Erase $38 Billion in Farm Supports Trump Budget Would Erase $38 Billion in Farm Supports
Johnnie Parks | 25 May, 2017, 01:56

"I don't think there's any reason to try to sugarcoat this". "USDA will likely see a significant reduction in funding by the time this process is complete".

According to budget tables released by the administration, Trump's plan cuts nearly $3.6 trillion from an array of benefit programs, domestic agencies and war spending over the coming decade - an nearly 8 percent cut - including repealing and replacing Obama's health law, cutting Medicaid, eliminating student loan subsidies, sharply slashing food stamps, and cutting $95 billion in highway formula funding for the states. It would cut a number of programs and eliminate 5,263 USDA employees, or about 5.5 percent of the department's total nationwide staff. "Instead, the new administration's first budget proposal would drain support for rural America", said Center for Rural Affairs Policy Associate Anna Johnson in a statement.

For example, the proposal would cut crop insurance by $28.6 billion over 10 years by putting limits on the amount of money a farmer could receive and also on the size of the farm receiving that money. "Farmers and ranchers rely heavily on crop and livestock insurance programs to help mitigate risk and ensure that their farms and ranches survive tough times during unpredictable weather events and increasingly low commodity prices".

He also proposed eliminating entirely subsidies to farmers making more than $500,000-a-year.

Conservation programs would also be cut.

The budget reduces funding for the Agricultural Research Service by $360 million, or 26 percent.

The impact of those cuts, however, is dwarfed by proposed restrictions on the SNAP program, which helps the poor buy food.

On May 23, the Donald Trump administration released its full budget request for fiscal year 2018. "Finally, the budget calls for streamlining conservation programs, which includes eliminating any new enrollment into the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)".

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Ag groups and Congressional lawmakers warned the budget would put rural communities at risk, citing the need to protect the farm safety net as producers face a 50 percent decline in farm revenue since 2013.

"By shredding our farm safety net, slashing critical agricultural research and conservation initiatives, and hobbling our access to foreign markets, this budget is a blueprint for how to make already hard times in rural America even worse", said Ron Moore, ASA president and a soybean farmer from Roseville, Ill.

American Soybean Association President Ron Moore, a farmer from Roseville, Ill., was blunt in the press release issued by his organization.

The danger of the White House budget, said Ron Moore, an IL farmer and president of the American Soybean Association, "is that the extreme and ill-informed cuts in this document will embolden those in Congress who lack any understanding of how these programs combine to protect the food and farm supply chain for all Americans".

In the call with reporters, Young struggled to justify the propositions, especially those related to crop insurance, other than to repeat that they were aimed at reducing the deficit and will be up to Congress to enact.

Concerning crop insurance, the budget "proposes limiting the premium subsidy to $40,000, which would generate $16.2 billion in savings over 10 years", Clayton writes.

USDA budget officer Mike Young said 5,263 jobs, including 925 in the Farm Service Agency, would be eliminated under the administration plan.

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