Washington, D.C. (May 23, 2017) – Today, the Administration released its full budget request for fiscal year 2018. The request calls for significant cuts to Farm Bill safety net and risk management programs at a time when net farm income is nearly half what it was just three years ago.
NAWG President David Schemm made the following statement:
“NAWG understands the administration is facing pressure to reduce spending and lower the national debt. However, proposing cuts to crop insurance and weakening the Farm Bill is not the right approach. Proposing significant restrictions on crop insurance, commodity, conservation, trade, nutrition, and economic development programs is short-sighted and ignores the needs of rural America.
“The 2014 Farm Bill is estimated to reduced spending by $23 billion over ten years, at the time of passage. Further, the Congressional Budget Office’s 2017 baseline estimates that the 2014 Farm Bill costs far less than projected and is going to save the federal government $100 billion.
“The Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs offer a safety net to producers when there is a substantial drop in prices or revenues. Recent events such as the late season blizzard in the Midwest, proves that these programs are working and need to be upheld in the 2018 Farm Bill.
“Any reduction in the discount for crop insurance will increase the cost of crop insurance to farmers. As commodity prices decline and farmers’ budgets tighten, an increase in the cost of crop insurance is only more likely to result in less participation and higher premiums for all farmers.
“In the trade title, the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) are two government programs that have proven to have tremendous return on investment and yet funding for these programs has eroded. MAP and FMD strengthen export market development, meriting an increase in federal funding, not elimination as proposed in this budget request.
“The rural vote was a key factor in the last election. Budget proposals should support rural America and U.S. farmers but this current budget misses that mark. NAWG will actively work to make sure these proposals aren’t enacted by Congress.”
Source: National Association of Wheat Growers