The American Soybean Association, the National Corn Growers Association and the National Farmers union are calling on the Congressional Agriculture Committees to consider moving to a revenue-based farm program when they make further recommendations to the Joint Select Committee on Budget Reduction. A letter from the groups was sent following agreement by Republican and Democrat leaders of both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to recommend 23-billion dollars in spending reductions in programs currently authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill.
The organizations say a new revenue-based program should be designed to complement rather than overlap or replace the existing crop insurance program, which is a key part of the farm program safety net. ASA President Alan Kemper, a soybean producer from Lafayette, Indiana, says – the realities of the current federal budget and debt crises make it imperative to find a viable risk management approach that can replace several existing programs.
The Committee leaders indicate they will make further recommendations to the Joint Committee on how these cuts should be made among the various titles of the farm bill by November 1. Eighty-four percent of the agriculture budget is comprised of nutrition programs, including SNAP, with most of the balance in commodity and conservation programs.