Amid the serious cuts the White House has proposed for key agricultural programs, there are a few bright spots.

The U.S. Grains Council applauds the administration for recognizing the value of expanded agricultural exports in its proposal for mandatory spending cuts. “It’s recognition for the benefits agricultural exports bring back to the U.S. economy,” said Floyd Gaibler, USGC director of trade policy.

“It’s evidence that the work of joint government-industry groups like the Council is paying off for American farmers, for American business, and for our nation’s economy.”

The administration recommended extensive cuts in USDA spending to the so-called “super committee” working on a government-wide deficit reduction plan but specifically cited “increased funding for programs to expand U.S. agricultural exports” as one of the ways it supports U.S. agriculture.

Other examples of programs it supports included the pursuit of trade agreements, agricultural research programs, and assistance for beginning and disadvantaged farmers.

In contrast, the White House recommended eliminating direct payments, reducing subsidies to crop insurance companies (including a change in subsidies for farmers’ crop insurance premiums), and reducing conservation spending by targeting it to the most environmentally beneficial programs.