National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in regard to President Barack Obama’s proposed budget that was released on Feb. 14:
 
“NFU members understand the importance of balancing the federal budget and reducing the federal deficit. Agriculture and the farm safety net were already cut by $4 billion in 2010 as a result of the Standard Reinsurance Agreement for federal crop insurance programs. NFU will oppose any budget reductions to agriculture programs that are deeper than cuts to other departments.
 
“The budget document released by the Office of Management and Budget asserted that farming has been highly profitable in the last decade. However, wild swings in commodity prices have made the last ten years among the most volatile on record for farmers. Government intervention was required to assist several sectors of agriculture, such as dairy and swine, to survive times of low prices and high input costs in just the past several years.
 
“More importantly, NFU believes that farm policy should be designed to provide support during difficult times. Recent high market prices may lead some to believe that commodity prices will continue long into the future. That conclusion is likely to be very wrong. Every farmer understands that high prices are followed by low prices – and our policies need to recognize that.
 
“We are encouraged that the president’s budget supports opportunities for investment in USDA and the Department of Energy. This spending will help to create job opportunities and economic development for our rural communities.
 
“The administration’s proposed budget makes significant cuts to rural development programs, which were identified as a key component of a vibrant rural America during the presidential elections of 2008. Cuts were also announced for agricultural research efforts and the Commodity Credit Corporation. Removing these dollars from the baseline for the next farm bill will make the legislation even more difficult to write. Investments in a stable and secure food, fiber and energy supply ought to be of the utmost importance because these investments create a thriving rural economy and are critically important to our national security.
 
“NFU will continue to work on behalf of farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and rural Americans as the budget process moves forward.”