Under sequestration, USDA will be required to ask farmers to pay back 151-million dollars received under the Milk Income Loss Contract Program, the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance program.
According to U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, about 350-thousand producers will be asked to pay back small amounts of money. Because more than 90-percent of those producers get direct payments, Vilsack said the agency will just reduce those payments to eliminate the need for producers to send a check.
Vilsack pointed out that Congress has cut USDA more than other agencies. He said the sequester has required a 5.1-percent cut to every line item in the agency budget and the continuing resolution will cut another 2.5-percent for a total cut of 7.6-percent in fiscal year 2013.
He said USDA’s discretionary budget is 1.1-billion dollars less than it was in 2009.