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US Farmers Say Agriculture Has Done Its Part to Reduce Deficit

5 February 2015, at 9:00am

US - National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson has commended President Obama’s 2015 Budget Proposal, noting its crucial investments for family farmers, ranchers and rural America.

“The president has demonstrated meaningful support for the men and women who grow this nation’s food, feed, fibre and fuel and the challenges they face daily,” said Mr Johnson.

“The dramatic changes fuelled by climate change are clearly one of the major hurdles facing America’s producers,” noted Mr Johnson.

“Family farmers and ranchers across the US are already feeling the impact of increasing weather volatility, resulting in fewer workable field days, increased potential for soil erosion and increased crop insurance claims.

"Investments in clean energy and climate resilience, like the permanent extension of the renewable electricity production and investment tax credits, will create new opportunities for American businesses while mitigating our producers’ climate risk.”

Mr Johnson also noted that for generations, farming and ranching income has lagged behind the overall prosperity of the nation, and that the budget outlines opportunities to reduce this disparity.

“The president’s budget proposal recognises the disparity between farming and ranching incomes and the rest of the nation, which NFU has long worked to address,” said Mr Johnson.

“Through meaningful changes to the tax code, investments in rural development programmes and expanded educational opportunities, this budget has the potential to lift up rural communities.

Mr Johnson said that he was disappointed the Administration has proposed across the board cuts to crop insurance, a farmer’s primary risk management tool.

“The 2014 Farm Bill just included $23 billion dollars for deficit reduction, so agriculture has clearly already done its part,” he said.

Mr Johnson urged the administration to look to other parts of the budget for additional reductions.

“When Mother Nature strikes or markets fluctuate, without crop insurance, many family farmers and ranchers could be put out of business,” he added.

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