Farming Matters

By Anna Emm
Stark County Farm Bureau Manager

As many of you have probably heard by now, President Donald Trump has proposed some budget cuts. Our crop insurance and different commodity programs will be affected by this decision. President Trump’s decision to do this comes at a time of low commodity process, already reduced farm incomes, and when the local farmers are struggling with Mother Nature just to get their crops planted or replanted.

Illinois Farm Bureau strongly opposes this fiscal year budget as it would hurt our farming members. Have no fear though, there are people in Farm Bureau fighting this. Many members of Congress have already declared the President’s budget dead on arrival.

As it stands right now, the budget would eliminate $228 billion over 10 years from the farm bill. It caps crop insurance premium subsidy at $40,000 (eliminates $16.2 billion in funding over 10 years). It cuts conservation programs by $5.7 billion over 10 years. Finally it eliminates “small” programs by $3 billion.

President Trump’s proposed budget has left a lot of people questioning it. He is suggesting adding different fees such as an Agricultural Marketing Service user fee, Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service user fee or a Grain Inspection fee, Packers and Stockyard Administration user fee. These proposed fees are said to raise over seven billion dollars.

The budget provides $18 billion in funding for the USDA, but is a 20% decrease from the year before. This is quite the change for our country and our local farms. The proposed fiscal year budget of 2017 is just a starting point however. Many changes will have to be made before it will be officially approved.

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