The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is standing fast in its strong support of the current farm bill as the White House proposed cutting $587 million in farm program spending over the next 10 years. The proposed cuts are part of the administration’s move to cut the federal budget deficit in half over the next five years.

“NCGA’s long-standing policy supports funding of farm programs at current levels and opposes reopening the farm bill before its expiration in 2007”’ said Jon Doggett, vice-president of public policy. “If we start altering farm programs in the middle of the farm bill, we are going to have corn growers farming the programs and not their farms.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the department’s key priorities will be met by the president’s newly released budget, while exercising fiscal discipline to help meet the president’s deficit reduction goals. “The agriculture budget provides funds to protect America’s food supply and agriculture systems, improve nutrition and health, conserve and enhance our natural resources and enhance economic opportunities for agricultural producers,” said Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns.

The Administration’s proposal would decrease the maximum amount farmers could receive under the farm bill, reduce the amount of crop receiving payments, eliminate marketing certificates and reduce spending in other areas under Title 1 of the farm bill.

“NCGA will be reviewing the budget proposals over the next few days,” said Doggett. “However, our stance will remain that this farm bill has worked, is working and should continue to work to provide a safety net for producers, offer a good deal for taxpayers, provide an abundant, affordable and safe food supply, and support rural communities that support agriculture.”