With the release of the Trump Administration’s FY 2018 budget proposal, the Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG) expresses a great deal of concern over significant reductions to risk management programs, trade development programs, and more. WAWG President Ben Adams, a wheat grower from Coulee City, Wash., issued the following statement:
“Risk management and market access programs are critical to the wheat industry. We are very concerned about the impact these drastic cuts will have on farmers across Washington and the nation.”
WAWG Executive Director Michelle Hennings added, “Rural America could be devastated by weakening the farm bill and imposing restrictions on essential programs related to crop insurance, commodity programs, conservation, trade, nutrition, and economic development. Given the current economic conditions and historic low prices, now is not the time to make such drastic cuts.”
The budget proposal results in cuts to crop insurance of nearly $29 billion, $6 billion in cuts to conservation programs, $193 billion in cuts to nutrition programs, and the complete defunding of USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service’s Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program. MAP and FMD strengthen export market development, and industry leaders have long sought to increase federal funding because of the recognized value to the American producer.
“We will continue to work with our wheat industry partners to seek a common-sense solution. The message will be clear-farm safety net programs and efforts to gain market access should not be subject to mandatory spending cuts or limitations as budget considerations continue,” said Adams. “Let’s also remember the $23 billion in deficit reduction over 10 years that was generated by the 2014 Farm Bill. Rural America and the wheat industry deserve better than what this budget proposal suggests.”