THE PRESIDENT’S blueprint budget for 2018, which the White House released in mid-March, details plans to cut the USDA’s budget by 21%.
According to Reuters, President Trump proposes cutting the department’s discretionary budget by $4.7 billion by ending funding for rural clean water initiatives and rural business services, reducing USDA statistical services and cutting county-level staff.
The American Farm Bureau Foundation says these cuts could hurt growers who rely on the USDA stats to make marketing, risk management and planting decisions. The proposal didn’t provide details of which services could be cut.
But Michigan Farm Bureau national affairs specialist John Kran says farmers shouldn’t be too concerned, as the budget will be written by Congress, and stressed that growers and consumers will need to provide input throughout the process.
The White House plans to release a traditional full budget in mid-May.