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Budget Proposal Reduces Farmer Safety Net

Farm groups are preparing to counter President Trump's proposed budget.

The Iowa Corn Growers Association (IGCA) are staunchly against cuts in the USDA. Crop insurance specifically is the highest priority to the members of ICGA. They want to make sure they have a safety net against natural disasters.

President of ICGA Kurt Hora says, "That helps our lenders, that helps keep the rural economy stable. The banks know they're going to get their money back. They're lending money out to farmers because they were able to have that crop insurance, the machinery dealerships and the seed dealers. It just gives stability to all of agriculture."

Hora adds the budget calls for eliminating funding for the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development program. He says the funds that go there help sell the products and by-products of corn. He says every dollar invested in that program returns $24 to farmers.

ICGA is preparing to send its members to Washington D.C. to explain their side.

Farm groups aren't the only ones against the proposed budget, it's also causing problems for a new farm bill.

Senate Ag Committee Democrat Debbie Stabenow says the proposal makes a five-year farm bill impossible to pass.

She released a fact sheet on the budget proposal, which claims $29 billion is cut from crop insurance, 5,200 Agriculture Department Employees would be laid off, and SNAP would lose $193 billion.

The budget proposal reaction is bipartisan, Ag Committee Chair republican Pat Roberts left no question at a Senate hearing that the crop insurance cuts in the budget had little to no Senate support.