Skip to content

How recent budget cuts affect the Farm Bill

April 19, 2011
by Kasi Boyd

Note: If you’re new to the Farm Bill, also see Farm Bill Jargon 101.

What is important to know about the current budget deal Congress has struck?

Mostly, that if we continue to tighten Farm Bill spending and cut mandatory spending until the next Farm Bill, the result will be a smaller baseline for the next 10 years. This is because the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will give a smaller budget/baseline for the next farm bill – off of whatever the current year/past year’s spending is (because they can’t determine spending levels until the fiscal year is over).

Read the press release from the Committee on Appropriations – Ag, rural development and FDA summary.

Discretionary Ag spending has been cut by $3 billion, or 14%. Reduction to Farm Service Agency credit program has been cut by $433 million (which means loans $ to beginner farmers, etc.).  This is very sad because of growing need for new farmers and new farmers seeking credit.  Read more about the congressional hearing.

NSAC has a great online tool giving FY 09 and FY 10 spending levels compared to FY 11 authorized levels from the last Farm Bill to the new levels from the current CR (continuing resolution) for FY 11, which is the recent budget deal.

Community Food Security Coalition came out with this statement against the cuts. In it, they outline these cuts:

• More 
than 
$500 
million 
from 
the 
Women, 
Infants 
and 
Children 
(WIC) 
program;
• More 
than 
$500 
million 
from 
USDA 
conservation 
programs, 
including 
the Conservation 
Stewardship 
Program 
(CRP) 
and 
the 
Wetlands
 Reserve 
Program (WRP);
• More
 than 
$100 
million 
from 
the 
National 
Institute 
of 
Food 
and Agriculture
(NIFA), affecting 
research
 and
 education, 
extension,
 water
 quality, 
food safety,
 and
organic transitions;
• Zeroing
 out 
of 
small 
but 
important 
programs 
such 
as 
the 
Congressional 
Hunger Center
($3
million),
Hunger
 Free
 Communities
 Grants
 ($5
million),
 and the 
National Sustainable
 Ag
 Info
 Service 
(ATTRA—$3
million);
• Significant
 reductions 
for 
Community 
Development 
Block
 Grants 
(16%),
 the 
USDA Office 
of 
Advocacy 
and 
Outreach 
(16%), 
and 
the 
USDA 
Office 
of 
Tribal 
Relations (50%).

Finally, here is the White House Fact Sheet regarding current budget cuts and fiscal responsibility. It sites mandatory spending cuts in ag subsidies.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *