Ag Committee Chairs, Farm Groups React to Administration’s Budget Proposal02/13/2018
Following the release of the Trump administration’s FY 2019 budget proposal, House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) issued the joint statement below:
“As Chairmen of the Agriculture Committees, the task at hand is to produce a Farm Bill for the benefit of our farmers, ranchers, consumers and other stakeholders. This budget, as with every other president’s budget before, will not prevent us from doing that job.
“We are committed to maintaining a strong safety net for agricultural producers during these times of low prices and uncertain markets and continuing to improve our nation’s nutrition programs.”
The following is a statement from the National Corn Growers Association:
“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, and is preparing to reauthorize again this year. We are counting on Congress to honor that commitment, and reject cuts that would be harmful for rural America.
“These proposed budget cuts would simultaneously hurt farmers’ ability to manage risk and grow their revenues by undermining the financial wellbeing of the companies upon which they depend.
“Targeting the federal crop insurance program is extremely shortsighted. These cuts would reduce premium subsidies for policies with harvest price coverage by 15 percentage points. It also reduces premium subsidies for policies without harvest price coverage by 10 percentage points.
“This is particularly harmful during an extended period of low commodity prices. NCGA members consistently tell us that crop insurance is their most important risk management tool. This public-private partnership helps farmers manage their risk, and it saves taxpayers money in the long run by reducing reliance on ad hoc disaster assistance.
“MAP and FMD are successful programs that build global demand for U.S. farm products, and increase income and jobs in our communities. NCGA is pleased to see that some funding for these crucial programs has been included.
“MAP and FMD create an average return on investment of $28 for every $1 spent, and account for 15 percent of all U.S. ag export revenue-making them a solid investment. At a time when the farm economy is struggling, we should be investing more in these programs that open markets and increase demand, not less.
“We urge Congress to honor the commitment they made to rural America when they reauthorized the farm bill in 2014. We hope to engage in a meaningful dialogue about how we can support America’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities through these challenging economic times.”