The chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee says that any budget decisions regarding agriculture should not be made until the 2012 Farm Bill is written.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) was reacting to speculation that a continuing resolution to fund the government for the remainder of fiscal year 2011 could include cuts to Farm Bill subsidies. Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and House Majority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) both said that farm program cuts should be considered in the fiscal 2011 budget talks.
In a statement to DTN, Stabenow said, "it is essential that decisions about our rural economy and food policy be done in a comprehensive way through the reauthorization of the Farm Bill."
Stabenow pointed out that agriculture has already contributed $4 billion to shrink the deficit through cuts in crop insurance. And, she says the Farm Bill budget is already smaller, due in part to high commodity prices.
House Agriculture Committee Chair Frank Lucas agrees with Stabenow's approach, having said that changes in mandatory programs should wait until lawmakers write the Farm Bill.
Reprinted in part from Brownfield