Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
This program, which draws extensive controversy, contains 72 percent of USDA funding and draws the attention of metropolitan members of Congress to the USDA. The SNAP program remains at $78 billion, but at $300 mil. less than in 2013. For the Food and Nutrition Service, overall funding is cut from $112.3 bil to $109.3 bil. Within the agency, there is a slight increase for the child nutrition program and other programs. An overall $6.3 bil. cut in SNAP funds approved by a supplemental funding earlier this year, allows the overall program to reduce its funding request. USDA says, “For 2014, the Budget anticipates participation falling to an average level of 44.7 million participants per month from 47.1 million in 2013. While the program increased sharply in the economic downturn, the rate at which participation has increased has been declining since around January 2010.”
Natural Resources and Environment
The conservation budget calls for $6.2 bil. in 2014, 36 percent of that for CRP, 22 percent of EQIP, and 16 percent for the CSP program. Acres enrolled in conservation programs has increased from under 135 mil in 2004 to more than 378 mil. in 2014.
Agriculture Research Service
ARS funding increases $200 million to $1.303 billion, primarily due to $155 mil. for replacement of the Southeast Poultry Disease Research Laboratory in Athens, GA and $30 mil additional in environmental stewardship.
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
NIFA distributes funding for university research and Extension activities. Discretionary program funding rises from $1.214 bil. to $1.293 bil, and mandatory funding rises from $1.231 bil. to $1.346 bil. Most of the funds are for research in food and agriculture projects proposed by researchers who compete for the funds. Some of the funds are distributed by a formula. Food and agriculture research funding is getting a 43 percent increase in funding for the competitive grants.
Other USDA programs:
- Food Safety holds relatively steady at $1.019 bil. down $2 mil.
- Forest Service drops from $5.265 billion to $4.858 billion
- APHIS drops from $1.092 to $1.071 billion
- Agricultural Marketing Service increases from $1.090 to $1.191 billion for additional funding for commodity program expenses.
- GIPSA funding rises $3 million to $41 mil to cover additional salaries
- National Ag Statistics Service funding drops $1 million to $159 million by cutting estimate costs.
- Economics Research Service funding rises $1 mil to $79 million
USDA funding, like other agencies of the federal government, will have less money to spend due to efforts to control the budget deficit. The annual budget is designed to implement policy, which is set by the Farm Bill, and that proposed budget will be set by Congress when a new Farm Bill is approved. The annual appropriation for USDA attempts to reflect the will of Congress, cross pollinated with the needs of the public as determined by USDA administrators. Most of the programming is maintained from year to year, but 8 percent of the 2013 budget was cut to establish the funding guideline for the 2014 budget.
Source: FarmGate blog