A recent Senate Agriculture Committee hearing left no doubt where agriculture lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle stand on the administration’s proposed cuts to key programs for rural America. Republican Committee Chair Pat Roberts recited a litany of gloomy ag statistics, warning against more spending cuts on top of cuts in the last farm bill and earlier cuts to crop insurance subsidies.
Roberts made the point a third time, at the urging of committee Democrats and Republicans, leaving no doubt the White House proposal to slash premium subsidies $29 billion over ten years has little, if any, Senate support.
Committee Ranking Democrat Debbie Stabenow, on the broader USDA budget request, cited USDA office closings, food stamp cuts, and ending export and rural development programs, while eliminating the undersecretary for rural development as part of a USDA reorganization as major issues…
USDA Chief Economist Robert Johansson painted a grim picture of still declining prices for corn and soybeans, falling land values, tighter margins, higher debt and lower repayment levels, and poor payouts for cotton and dairy programs. But Johansson did agree on the importance of ag research to boost productivity, and trade to boost demand.
(From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters)
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