Upon release of the proposed 2018 budget by the White House Tuesday morning, many farm groups spoke out against changes made to different areas.
One area that many of the farm groups are worried about is crop insurance. The proposed budget would cut the federal crop insurance program by $28.5 billion—or roughly 36 percent—by capping the premium subsidy and eliminating the harvest price option.
The White House’s proposed budget also would cut nearly $9 billion from Title I commodity supports, including the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs, by reducing the adjusted gross income (AGI) eligibility cap from $900,000 to $500,000.
“Thirty six percent is the most extreme proposed cut to crop insurance I’ve seen in my 40 years on the farm,” Ron Moore, American Soybean Association President said. “This is a program that exists to sustain farmers who suffer catastrophic losses. Coupled with the arbitrary caps the budget would impose on premium subsidies, it’s clear that this budget was written without input from farmers who would be severely affected.”
“The time and place to debate farm bill programs is during the farm bill reauthorization, not the annual budget process. The farm bill represents a 5-year commitment to America’s farmers and ranchers, which Congress made in 2014. We are counting on Congress to honor that commitment, and reject cuts that would be harmful for rural America. These proposed budget cuts would hurt farmers’ ability to manage risk, grow their revenues, and farm more sustainably.” National Corn Growers Association said in their press release
Zippy Duval, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation stated, “The administration’s budget proposal fails to recognize agriculture’s current financial challenges or its historical contribution to deficit reduction. It would gut federal crop insurance, one of the nation’s most important farm safety-net programs. It would drastically reshape important voluntary conservation programs and negatively impact consumer confidence in critical meat and poultry inspection. This proposal would hamper the viability of plant and animal security programs at our borders and undermine the nation’s grain quality and market information systems. It would stunt rural America’s economic growth by eliminating important utility programs and other rural development programs. Clearly, this budget fails agriculture and rural America.”
Wheat groups also chimed in, “It is very short-sighted to cut out programs that are vital to the health of the entire U.S. agricultural economy,” said Jason Scott, USW Chairman and a wheat farmer from Easton, Md. “Farmers, livestock producers, small businesses and the U.S. government have seen an amazing return on the investment in these highly successful programs. Our farmer leaders agree with the National Association of Wheat Growers President David Schemm who believes MAP and FMD merit an increase in federal funding, not elimination as proposed in this budget.”
“The President’s proposed budget is an assault on the programs and personnel that provide vital services, research, and a safety net to America’s family farmers, rural residents and consumers. It is deeply disappointing that the President would propose such cuts, especially in the midst of a farm crisis that has family farmers and ranchers enduring a drastic, four-year slide in farm prices and a 50 percent drop in net farm income.” National Farmers Union President, Roger Johnson
In a conference call Tuesday, Acting Deputy Secretary and Budget Officer, Micheal Young gave a run down of the budget and what cuts would be made.
Audio from the call can be found here: Young Budget Rundown
The full proposal can be found here: USDA FY 2018 Budget Summary