American farmers in big crisis, Trump cuts money for Department of Agriculture
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 U.S. agriculture industry is going through its worst crisis since the 1980s, triggered by depressed prices and deepened by Trump’s trade dispute with key trading partners such as China.
The budget proposes to reduce the average premium subsidy for crop insurance from 62 percent to 48 percent and limit subsidies to producers that posted an adjusted gross income of half-a-million dollars or less.
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 includes proposals to help able-bodied adults to enter the job market. ■