As discussion develops on writing a 2012 farm bill and reducing the federal budget deficit, there may be talk of cutting “farm subsidies.” But the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri points out that such cuts would make just a tiny dent in the federal budget deficit.
“Defenders of current farm programs can point out that farm program spending is a tiny share of federal expenditures,” said Pat Westhoff, FAPRI’s director. “Eliminating all farm programs would hardly make a dent in the budget deficit.”
Even if USDA’s budget is not cut in 2011, farm program spending will be under a lot of scrutiny when the next farm bill is debated, according to Weshoff. “It is hard to guess where spending cuts might be made,” he said. “It seems likely, however, that an effort will be made to further reduce USDA spending.”