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US 2020 Budget Proposes Steep Cut For USDA

13 Mar 2019 10:25 am
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MUMBAI (Commoditiescontrol) - President Donald Trump's 2020 budget on Monday proposed a 15 percent cut for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), calling its subsidies to farmers “overly generous” at a time when they are going through the worst crisis in decades because of depressed commodity prices and Trump’s trade tariffs.

The Republican president’s budget requested $20.8 billion for the USDA, a cut of $3.6 billion, or 15 percent, from the 2019 estimate, according to the proposed budget text. It proposes reducing premium subsidies for crop insurance, limiting the number of producers who would be eligible and tightening commodity payment limits.

“The budget also proposes that USDA responsibly and efficiently use taxpayer resources by making targeted reforms to duplicative programs and overly generous subsidy programs,” the document said.

The farm bill, crop insurance and commodity programs serve as a safety net for farmers, shielding them from the financial damage of unforeseen natural disasters and helping them manage their risk. A new farm bill was passed at the end of 2018.

The budget proposes to reduce the average premium subsidy for crop insurance to 48 percent from 62 percent and limit subsidies to producers that posted an adjusted gross income of half-a-million dollars or less.

The proposal also requests tightening commodity payment limits, including eliminating an “unnecessary and separate” payment limit for peanut producers and limiting eligibility for commodity subsidies to one manager per farm.

The budget also proposes tightening around the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which feeds roughly 40 million Americans and is administered by the Agriculture Department. The budget text said it included proposals to help able-bodied adults enter the job market.

With Agency Inputs


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