Sequestration Cuts to Ag May Soften

Across-the-board budget cuts known as “sequestration” and their impact on farm payments may be softened in spending negotiations over the next three months. Reports that Price Loss Coverage or Agriculture Risk Coverage may be cut by seven percent for the 2014 crop year may be premature.

Should Congress avoid a government shutdown the end of this month with short-term stop-gap funding, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley expects months of talks to soften sequestration…

“There will be negotiations that will assume one dollar increase for domestic programs for every one dollar increase in defense. I rebel against that but its probably a play because the Democrats will not let us bring up any appropriations bills.”

Unless there are offsetting increases in domestic programs, thus softening the need to cut PLC and ARC payments, CRP and prior-year crop insurance payments are exempt. However, Grassley sees another dividend from negotiations, a possible rider to defund the controversial “Waters of the U.S.” rule by the Environmental Protection Agency…

“We hope to get some writes on bills, it could be for waters or something else. It seems to me that if Democrats want to spend more money, then Republicans should be able to get writers on appropriations bills.”

However, the first step will be to pass a stop-gap continuing budget resolution to get the government into the new fiscal year on October first. An expected showdown over Planned Parenthood funding is shaping up to be a major hurdle.


A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.