President Obama Wednesday released his proposal for the FY14 budget, keeping agriculture spending relatively unchanged but announcing funding shifts that will ultimately affect many USDA programs.
Top issues in the budget for many farm groups remained farm subsidy payments, research and renewable fuel provisions and food aid restructuring.
According to the portion of the budget specific to agriculture, eliminating direct payments and decreasing crop insurance offerings will provide $37.8 billion in deficit reduction over 10 years. President Obama's budget proposes that the reforms will improve targeted conservation efforts.
According to the USDA budget summary, the legislation also proposes to expand the dairy gross margin insurance program. An additional $1.3 billion is allocated for organic agriculture, specialty crops, and beginning farmers.
The Presidential budget may keep USDA funding flat, but provides for big changes in crop insurance, food aid
Obama's budget also invests $4 billion in renewable and clean energy and environmental improvements to drive "global competitiveness in the energy sector."
Research efforts will also see increased funding; the budget requests $383 million for competitive grants through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, which will support regional research projects involving federal, university and industry partners.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants and Children will see $7.1 billion to ensure nutritional provisions for at-risk mothers.