Ag Secretary Explains USDA’s Proposed 2014 Budget

President Obama released his proposed Fiscal Year 2014 budget earlier this week. In the United States’ fiscal environment today – Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says it’s important to do more with less if possible. Regarding his proposed 2014 budget – which will be less than this year – Vilsack says people must have to understand the context of the budget, the difficult choices that are involved and the totality of the budget…

“When you see more research, additional conservation, access to credit, a multi-billion dollar commitment to crop insurance and a new research facility, you see the entire packet of this and realize that this is an agency that continues to feel very strongly about its support for agriculture and the communities that surround farms and ranches.”

Vilsack proposed cuts to crop insurance subsidies. Currently – taxpayers pay up to 63-percent of a farmer’s premium cost…

“Could that be aligned just a bit? Probably so, without necessarily making it impossible for farmers to afford crop insurance when the government is picking up the tab for 60% of the cost.”

Crop insurance companies receive 14-percent from the government on policies they sell to farmers – and Vilsack has proposed taking that down to possibly 12-percent.

Vilsack says this proposed budget continues do a lot for farmers, ranchers and producers – including a robust commitment to farm credit, a strong farm safety net and more than 9.5-billion dollars of crop insurance support…

“We are maintaining the amount of money for trade promotion and market expansion opportunities as well as continuing to utilize the services of our foreign ag service to reduce sanitary barriers as we have done over the past several years.”

Much of USDA’s budget cuts will be coming from an expected cut in the number of people needing to be in the SNAP program. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.

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