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President’s proposed budget unfriendly to agriculture

Corn farmers, others, distribute letter to lawmakers

The presses have been ablaze with insight on the President’s recently released proposed fiscal year 2018 budget this week. Making drastic cuts to mandatory and discretionary spending to agriculture, imposing tighter Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) means testing eligibility requirement, and indemnity payments – the proposed number are far from friendly toward agriculture and rural America.

Corn Producers Association of Texas (CPAT) has since joined fellow agricultural organizations in the state in sending an letter to Texas delegation in D.C., as well as more than 80 Members of Congress outlining concerns and opposition to the President’s proposed budget.

A copy of the letter (as sent to Sen. Cornyn) is available HERE.

Within the USDA budget, mandatory spending cuts include the following:

Farm and Crop Insurance

  • Limit crop insurance premium subsidy to $40,000
  • Limit harvest price option for crop insurance
  • Limit crop insurance eligibility to $500,000 AGI
  • Limit eligibility for agriculture commodity payments to $500,000 AGI

Trade and Foreign Food Aid

  • Eliminates funding ($200m/yr) for the Market Access Program (MAP)
  • Eliminates funding ($34.5m/yr) for the Foreign Market Development (FMD) program
  • Eliminates funding ($201m/yr) for the McGovern Dole Food for Education program
  • Establishes APHIS user fees in the amount of $20m/yr to regulate new biotechnology programs
  • Rolls Food for Peace into USAID’s International Disaster Assistance Overseas Operations Contingency account. Down from $1.46b in FY2017 CR and previous years.

Conservation

  • Applies a $500,000 AGI limit on Title II payments
  • Increase working agricultural land and easement programs by providing an additional $250 million a year for Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and an addition $450 million a year for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP)
  • Eliminates new enrollment in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)
  • Eliminates the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)
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