A few ag programs could be on the chopping block if a new budget proposal currently before the House Budget Committee passes. Direct payments and crop insurance would compose the bulk of the proposed $33.2 billion in cuts to agricultural programs.
Cuts to crop insurance, proposed by chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) have members of the American Soybean Association (ASA) concerned.
"The cuts that Chairman Ryan proposes, however, are significantly higher than those agreed upon by House and Senate Agriculture Committee leadership during the Supercommittee process last fall, and that concerns us," says Danny Murphy, ASA First Vice President. "Especially worrisome is the Chairman’s emphasis on the federal crop insurance program as an area for reduction. Crop insurance serves as the main safety net for America’s farmers, and its integrity must be protected."
Murphy says that soybean producers are willing to take cuts to programs that affect them so long as the cuts are proportional to cuts in other industries. The proposal does recognize developments in domestic energy sources but Murphy says that the Chairman needs to keep in mind the success of the American biodiesel industry, which he says is responsible for the creation of 50,000 jobs last year and produced 1.1 billion gallons of biodiesel.
"The biodiesel industry creates jobs, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and blosters our energy security, all while displaced imported diesel with clean, American-made fuel," Murphy says.
The proposed budget, also includes a redesign of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), previously known as food stamps including a $123 billion cut from the program to be shifted to state run programs.