Agricultural Funding at a Crossroads

October 28, 2011 11:08 AM

A 12-member super committee must identify at least $1.2 trillion in budget reductions this fall—a large chunk of the $1.5 trillion that will be cut in the next 10 years to reduce the national debt.
The House and Senate Agriculture Committees sent their recommendations, which included cutting $23 billion in agriculture programs during the next 10 years, to the super committee.

"Agriculture has a long legacy of bipartisanship, and today the House and Senate Agriculture Committees are preserving that tradition," said the committees’ leaders, Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Ranking Member Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), House Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Ranking Member Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), when submitting their recommendations.

Serving as a reminder to the super committee, the committee leaders detailed some of the prior budget cuts in agriculture:

  • Commodity program spending represents less than one-quarter of 1% of the federal budget, and the actual commodity title spending was almost $25 billion below Congressional Budget Office projections at the time the 2002 and 2008 farm bills were passed.
  • Crop insurance has lost $14 billion in funding since the passage of the Agricultural Risk Protection Act in 2000: $6 billion in reductions through the most recent renegotiation of the Standard Reinsurance Agreement, $6 billion in cuts in the last farm bill and $2 billion in the 2002 farm bill.
  • Conservation has been cut by more than $3 billion during the past five years.
  • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program was cut by nearly $12 billion during the last Congress to offset other spending.
  • There are 37 programs, totaling nearly $10 billion, that will expire and have no baseline in the future.

With those cuts in mind, the panel leaders stressed to the super committee that $23 billion in savings "is more than any sequestration process would achieve and should absolve the programs in our jurisdiction from any further reductions."

Back to news


Spell Check

No comments have been posted to this News Article

Corn College TV Education Series


Get nearly 8 hours of educational video with Farm Journal's top agronomists. Produced in the field and neatly organized by topic, from spring prep to post-harvest. Order now!


Market Data provided by
Brought to you by Beyer