AFBF: Obama's budget hurts farmers

Now Media Group


American Farm Bureau Federation Officials say President Barack Obama's budget that would cuts 27 USDA programs, would harm farm families.

In a formal statement, AFBF officials contend that a global glut of food production hasalready sent U.S. farm revenues down sharply.

'With farm income down 56 percent in the past two years alone, America's farmers and ranchers face difficult times. Yet, the president's just-released budget would cut 27 USDA programs, including a 10-year, $18 billion cut to the federal crop insurance programs so important to farmers.'

This is especially critical since farm income is projected to decline another 3 percent in 2016.

'The president's budget would also harm farm and ranch families through capital gains taxes and special provisions that would force new generations to pay much higher taxes on any land and assets they inherit. Such treatment is a recipe for farm fragmentation and an unnecessary obstacle for agriculture's next generation.

However, AFBF officials did note some positive aspects of the president's proposed budget.

'The president's budget does include increases for food and agricultural research — a critical need in a world in which hunger remains a problem in many countries — as well as increases for research into antimicrobial resistance in humans and livestock. Each of these needs to be addressed in serious ways, and we appreciate the support for such research.'

Leaders in Congress have been clear in their negative views on the administration's proposed cuts, noting that they will be writing the budget on Capitol Hill.

'We will work closely with our elected officials as they begin their work on the budget to protect the interests of our farmers and ranchers.'