Johanns: Budget-cutting will impact farm programs

The path to the 2012 Farm Bill—which was rocky prior to this summer’s contentious debt ceiling,deficit-reduction debate in Washington—now looks even more treacherous.

Nebraska U.S. Senator Mike Johanns is holding a series of “Ag Policy Perspective” meetings across the state.  He says agriculture will not be immune to the budget-cutting knife.

“I just want to alert people—there could very well be discussions about farm programs, conservation programs, rural development programs—a whole host of things that could be impacted by this discussion,” Johanns says.

The former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture is urging farmers to focus on protecting the crop insurance program.

“When I say protecting it, I’m literally talking about the viability of the program,” Johanns says. “You could so damage this program that it’s just not a very good program at all in terms of protecting risk—and like I said, this program has already given to try to help with deficit reduction.”

Johanns refers to the six-billion dollar reduction in the crop insurance program that took place last year.  Those dollars went towards deficit reduction.

AUDIO: Mike Johanns (7:41 MP3)

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