Farm commodity prices are high, expectations for the 2011 crop year optimistic, and producers are finalizing their cropping acreage breakdown. At the same time, spending deficits remain unsustainable, the U.S. economy remains in a low gear, and a record 44-million Americans – one in eight – were on food stamps late in 2010.

Into this situation, President Obama released his fiscal year 2012 budget (which begins on Oct. 1) earlier this week. Early reviews were mixed, with Republicans accusing the White House of largely sidestepping the deficit.

For agriculture, among the president’s proposals:

  • $2.5 billion in direct payment cuts over 10 years (House Republicans have proposed no cuts to commodity programs).
  • A drop in farm subsidy eligibility from the current $750,000 in adjusted net income to $500,000.
  • Further, those with off-farm income will see eligibility for subsidies drop from an adjusted net income currently of $500,000 to $250,000.
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