Agriculture was not spared by President Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2020 calling for across-the-board cuts to domestic spending while increasing funds for defense and a wall along the Mexican border. The cuts include reductions to SNAP, crop insurance, and other programs recently authorized by the new Farm Bill. National Farmers Union president Roger Johnson says the budget shows a continued disconnect between the president’s priorities and the economic realities facing family farmers.
Proposed changes to crop insurance include reducing the average premium subsidy from 62 percent to 48 percent and limit payments to producers whose adjusted gross income is less than $500,000.
Both House Ag Chairman Collin Peterson and Ranking Member Michael Conaway criticized the proposed 15-percent budget cut to USDA. Peterson said most of the cuts sought by the White House were already rejected by lawmakers in the new Farm Bill, including conservation, commodity purchases, and rural development. Conaway said the White House should keep its promise to farmers made with the new Farm Bill and fully fund crop insurance.
The budget is unlikely to survive in its current form before Congress, and is usually considered just a blueprint of the White House’s agenda.