USDA’s budget proposal: How will you be impacted?
5) Marketing and Regulatory programs, such as APHIS and GIPSA gain about $100 million from the past year.
So, how did the USDA so quickly convert the Farm Bill into a budget for the coming fiscal year? That really did not happen, say the budget authors, “There was not sufficient time for USDA to do a thorough, program by program analysis of all the changes in the 2014 Farm Bill enacted in February. Therefore, the Budget is based on previous assumptions but adjusted at a macro level for farm bill changes to commodity programs. Changes to conservation and foreign assistance programs have been incorporated into their respective areas. The estimates included in the Budget for CCC are subject to change due to the effects of the 2014 Farm Bill.”
The significant reduction in CCC outlays is the result of discontinuation of nearly all direct payments, elimination of the ACRE program, and expectations for a minimal outlay of funds to producers who sign up for the new farm safety net programs, ARC and PLC. And any funds earned by those who sign up will not be distributed until the next fiscal year.
Cuts in the crop insurance program are based on changes that USDA plans to propose to Congress to cut $1.2 billion from the program; “These proposals include reducing the rate of return for crop insurance companies, reducing premium subsidies to farmers for certain policies, and rescinding the authority to conduct a pilot program for wild salmon. The proposals represent a balanced approach to reducing the cost of the program while maintaining a strong safety net to protect producers from natural disasters and price fluctuations.”
In step with the Congressional mandates the past two years to reduce spending, the proposed USDA budget calls for $10 billion in reductions for the fiscal year that begins in October. The major line items with reductions include commodity programs, crop insurance, and food and nutrition programs. The Congress must yet approve the budget and an appropriations bill for the budget to take effect. In recent years, such actions have come after the start of the new fiscal year, and have been lumped in with other spending programs.