ATLANTA (AP) — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told the country's largest farm lobbying group that big budget deficits will require spending cuts.

But Vilsack did not explain in detail Monday how those cuts might affect programs run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

His remarks to an annual meeting in Atlanta of the American Farm Bureau Federation came as growers and producers are looking for signals about where Congress will set funding levels in the next Farm Bill. The legislation establishes how much the federal government will spend to support the agriculture sector.

During his remarks, Vilsack highlighted instances where he said agriculture officials were able to expand crop insurance coverage without exposing the federal government to more costs.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.