USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced his intent to transfer $156 million from the direct payment program to several other Farm Service Agency programs due to sequestration cuts.
The effect of this change is to reduce the direct payments farmers are expecting to receive in October 2013 by 8.5 percent from what they anticipated when they enrolled in the program. Farm Bureau sent a letter to Secretary Vilsack (attached) opposing the additional 3.4 percent reduction that was made to direct payments on top of the 5.1 percent sequestration level.
It has been indicated that the $156 million taken from direct payments will offset the sequestration costs of:
- the Tobacco Transition Payment Program;
- the Marketing Assistance Commodity Loans Program;
- the Crop Cash Loan Deficiency Payments Program;
- Storage and Handling Programs;
- the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program; and
- the Milk Income Loss Contract Program.