The 2020 President’s Budget Request identifies $61 billion in savings from reforming mandatory agricultural programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The bulk of this savings, $46 billion, comes from reforming agricultural programs that subsidize incomes of agricultural businesses. This is a 2 percent decrease from the $47 billion in savings identified in the 2019 budget request. An additional $15 billion in savings is derived from imposition of food inspection user fees and modifications to various child nutrition and commodity purchase programs.
Much of the change is once again due to proposed reforms to income subsidy programs as well the federal crop insurance program. This includes eliminating funding for the Livestock Forage Program, common sense reforms to close commodity program loopholes that allow extra payments to peanut producers and numerous “managers” who often never step foot on the farm.
While this budget request does not go far enough in reforming the duplication between federally subsidized crop insurance and commodity programs, it’s a move in the right direction.