The Trump Administration unveiled today their proposed budget for the federal government’s 2018 fiscal year, starting Oct. 1, 2017. This includes substantial cuts to many federally run agricultural programs including:
Cutting the federal crop insurance program by $28.56 billion.
Total elimination of funding for the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program for export promotion.
Reducing conservation program funding by $5.8 billion by cutting technical assistance to farmers, eliminating the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) which Iowa has successfully competed for and reduces producer eligibility to participate in conservation programs.
These funding cutbacks would have a lasting impact on rural America at a time when many farmers are facing tough economic challenges. The Federal Crop Insurance programs were written in a way to provide a basic level of risk protection to help offset bad economic times and severe weather. As part of this coverage, farmers pay premiums ensuring they have skin the game and assume some of the risk. As a farmer, your biggest factor is mother nature, this insurance provides the protection you need to stay in business and cover input costs for the crop in the ground.
It also includes decreased funding for federal conservation programs which will directly impact farmers’ ability to improve and conserve the land, air, water and habitat in our state. This includes the RCPP and conservation technical assistance programs which provide farmers tools to accelerate adoption of conservation practices. These programs directly deploy on the ground conservation practices that help to improve Iowa’s water quality, a major priority of the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA).
The MAP and the FMD programs support the promotion of corn, ethanol and dried distillers grains soulubles, as well as value-added U.S. red meat products in international markets. Continued Congressional support for maintaining the level of funding for MAP and FMD programs continues to be crucial as they are the muscle of what drives our export programs for corn in all forms.
The protection of these vital programs continues to be one of the top priority issues of the ICGA. We urge Congress to reject these cuts.