February 9, 2007
February 9, 2007 - Early this week, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns released the details of President Bush's Fiscal Year 2008 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Budget.
According to Johanns, the 2008 USDA budget reflects the President's priorities to encourage economic growth and increase our security. The budget focuses on growing the farm and rural economy, providing food assistance to those who need it, safeguarding America's food supply and agriculture and supporting sound land management practices and natural resources conservation.
Two areas of interest to the sheep industry include funding for scrapie eradication and wildlife services. The scrapie program has been recommended to receive $17.32 million, down significantly from the $18.6 million funded in fiscal year 2006.
The budget for wildlife services operations is recommended to be flat with a funding request of $77 million.
The 2008 budget recommendation eliminates funding for unrequested Congressional earmarks added to the service since 2001. The funding for the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center was eliminated.
Total USDA expenditures are estimated at about $89 billion in 2008, which is approximately the same level as 2007. Roughly 75 percent of expenditures, or $67 billion in 2008, will be for mandatory programs that provide services required by law, which include many of the nutrition assistance, commodity, export promotion and conservation programs.
USDA's discretionary programs account for the remaining 25 percent of expenditures, or $22 billion in 2008, which is approximately the same level as 2007. Discretionary programs include the Women, Infants and Children program; rural development loans and grants; research and education; soil and water conservation technical assistance; management of National Forests and domestic marketing assistance.
The complete Budget Summary and Annual Performance Plan can be accessed at www.obpa.usda.gov/budsum/fy08budsum.pdf
. Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33