EINNEWS, November 12—Tucked into the trial balloon of a plan floated this week by co-chairs of the President’s deficit reduction commission is a recommendation to cut farm subsidies by $3 billion.

A budget whack at agriculture was part of the larger plan suggested by former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson. They proposed cutting nearly $4 trillion from the federal deficit over the next 10 years.

The agriculture industry has been concerned that pressures to lower federal spending might fall heavily on programs that have long helped farming. The United States currently pays around $20 billion per year to farmers in direct subsidies.

The subsidy program guarantees a price floor for agricultural products and provides cash to farmers for planting. The top crop for subsidy payments is corn, which rose to the top of the agricultural class when the federal government turned to it for ethanol production.

A major fight over the nation’s agricultural programs is expected during 2011 as the new Congress begins wrestling with provisions of the 5-year farm bill which comes up for renewal in 2012.

For more agriculture news, visit Agriculture Industry Today (http://agriculture.einnews.com), a agriculture media monitoring service from EIN News.

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