Corn Growers Statement on President's Proposed FY19 Budget

The White House today released its detailed proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2019. The budget proposal includes the following:

  • Cutting the federal crop insurance program by $22.4 billion over the 2019-2028 period
  • Targeting program subsidies to those producers that have an Adjusted Gross Income of $500,000 or less for a savings of $3 billion over the 2019-2028 period
  • Reducing underwriting subsidies to participating insurance companies by placing a cap on underwriting gains at 12 percent or $3 billion over the 2019-2028 period

The following is a statement from the National Corn Growers Association:

“The time and place to debate farm bill programs is during the farm bill reauthorization, not the annual budget process. The farm bill represents a 5-year commitment to America’s farmers and ranchers, which Congress made in 2014, and is preparing to reauthorize again this year. We are counting on Congress to honor that commitment, and reject cuts that would be harmful for rural America. These proposed budget cuts would simultaneously hurt farmers’ ability to manage risk and grow their revenues by undermining the financial wellbeing of the companies upon which they depend.

“Targeting the federal crop insurance program is extremely shortsighted. These cuts would reduce premium subsidies for policies with harvest price coverage by 15 percentage points. It also reduces premium subsidies for policies without harvest price coverage by 10 percentage points.

“This is particularly harmful during an extended period of low commodity prices. NCGA members consistently tell us that crop insurance is their most important risk management tool. This public-private partnership helps farmers manage their risk, and it saves taxpayers money in the long run by reducing reliance on ad hoc disaster assistance.

“MAP and FMD are successful programs that build global demand for U.S. farm products, and increase income and jobs in our communities. NCGA is pleased to see that some funding for these crucial programs has been included.

“MAP and FMD create an average return on investment of $28 for every $1 spent, and account for 15 percent of all U.S. ag export revenue—making them a solid investment. At a time when the farm economy is struggling, we should be investing more in these programs that open markets and increase demand, not less.

“We urge Congress to honor the commitment they made to rural America when they reauthorized the farm bill in 2014. We hope to engage in a meaningful dialogue about how we can support America’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities through these challenging economic times.”

PolicyJennifer Elwell