The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens

Sustainable Ag Coalition weighs in on budget deal

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition said today that it believes a budget deal for the rest of the 2011 fiscal year may be reached as soon as Monday, and urged its members to call or write Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., not to accept any deal that “ties your hands going in to the 2012 farm bill debate.”

The group urged members to convey the following message:

“It’s bad enough that food and agriculture has already suffered grossly disproportional cuts in discretionary funding in the two short-term budget deals signed into law. But now it appears the administration may be willing to give up additional USDA discretionary program funding and also raid farm bill mandatory conservation funding, treating conservation programs as convenient giveaways in the budget negotiating process with the House.”

If cuts are made, NSAC said, “everything should be on the table, including the $5 billion a year that is spent on direct payments.”