The American Soybean Association (ASA) signaled strong opposition to proposed cuts in the FY-2018 budget released by the White House this morning.
“By shredding our farm safety net, slashing critical agricultural research and conservation initiatives, and hobbling our access to foreign markets, this budget is a blueprint for how to make already difficult times in rural America even worse,” said Ron Moore, ASA president and a soybean farmer from Roseville, Ill.
The budget would cut the federal crop insurance program by $28.5 billion—or roughly 36 percent—by capping the premium subsidy and eliminating the harvest price option. The crop insurance program is widely used by soybean farmers, and the harvest price option was selected in 99.4 percent of soybean revenue insurance policies sold in 2016. The White House’s proposed budget also would cut nearly $9 billion from Title I commodity supports, including the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs, by reducing the adjusted gross income (AGI) eligibility cap from $900,000 to $500,000.
“Thirty six percent is the most extreme proposed cut to crop insurance I’ve seen in my 40 years on the farm,” Moore said. “This is a program that exists to sustain farmers who suffer catastrophic losses. Coupled with the arbitrary caps the budget would impose on premium subsidies, it’s clear that this budget was written without input from farmers who would be severely affected.”
The budget also poses an existential threat to export promotion and foreign food assistance programs. It eliminates funding for the two hallmark U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs for the expansion of foreign markets: the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development program (FMD).
Read the full article at soygrowers.com