Bush 2007 budgetBush 2007 budget: Mixed message for farmers

Published 10 February 2006

Highlights of the food supply aspects of the proposed 2007 budget

As was expected, the agriculture chapter of the fiscal 2007 budget proposal the president submitted to Congress on Monday calls for 5 percent across-the-board cuts in crop and dairy payments to producers as well as cuts in food commodities, food stamps, nutrition, and rural development programs. It also proposes some increases. Here are the highlights:


The proposed 2007 agriculture budget calls for a roughly 13 percent cut in conservation programs, although it adds money for a wetlands program. Total conservation spending would drop from $3.1 billion to $2.7 billion. According to the Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, conservation and related programs proposed for cuts include:

Conservation Security Program (CSP). CSP would be capped at $342 million, a $30 million cut compared to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) estimate of $372 million for full funding. Note that only an estimated $259 million will be spent on CSP this year. The program’s purpose is to preserve watersheds

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EOIP) would be cut by from $1.27 billion to $1 billion, a 21 percent reduction. EQIP provides cost-share money for conservation practices, which can include grazing-management programs, livestock-waste handling systems, and building water pipelines and tanks to provide water for livestock during drought

Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) will be cut from $85 million to $55 million. WHIP pays farmers and ranchers to protect and restore habitat for threatened species

Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program will be cut from $97 million to $50 million. The program helps protect prime farmland from development through conservation easements

Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Program. The Bush 2007 budget provides $10.2 million, an increase of $7.2 million over remaining 2002 farm-bill funding, but a decrease of $12.6 million from the current year’s funding

Sustainable agriculture research and education will be cut from $16.4 million to $12.9 million


The proposed budget will fully fund the Wetlands Reserve Program at $403 million to restore 250,000 acres of agricultural wetlands — an increase over the 150,000 acres of wetlands restored in 2006.

The president’s budget calls for spending an additional $57 million for avian flu protection, surveillance, and stockpiling of poultry vaccines.

The proposed budget also proposes spending an additional $127 million for improving agriculture and food-supply safety and security. That increase would include:

$23 million more to strengthen the Food Emergency Response Network and the Regional Diagnostic Network to ensure capacity to respond to food emergencies and plant and animal diseases

$42 million for research to ensure food safety, to develop ways to identify pathogens, develop animal vaccines and to study genetic disease resistance

$62 million to enhance surveillance and monitoring to detect pest and disease threats

-see more details of the president’s budge at USDA Web site