President Barack Obama released his proposed 2011 budget this week and immediately caught the ire of several farm groups, including the American Soybean Association (ASA). Specifically, the President’s new budget includes proposed reductions in federal support for crop insurance, cuts in maximum amounts of direct farm payments allowed to producers and a reduction in growth of conservation programs.

Rob Joslin, an Ohio soybean producer and ASA president, compared the Obama administration’s new budget proposals to those it had made last year. “They were bad ideas then, and they are bad ideas now,” says Joslin.

I heartily agree – the Obama administration’s proposals are bad ideas. In my opinion, the net effect of the proposed rule changes would be to increase the risk that farmers would fail to make a profit while attempting to produce food. Adding more risk to the already risky profession of farming would just increase the odds of bankruptcy, and if that becomes a new trend for agriculture, do you really think the government would be there for you with another bailout, similar to the bailouts for the auto industry and the banks?

Just look at the nation’s meteoric increase in the deficit over the last year to answer that question. Yes, the nation needs budget cuts, but not at the risk of undermining our country’s ability to produce ample food supplies for itself and the world.

To learn more information about the President’s proposed budget cuts for farm programs, click here: http://cornandsoybeandigest.com/richardbrock/obama-farm-payment-0202/ or here: http://deltafarmpress.com/legislative/0202-obama-budget-cuts-farm-programs/index.html?imw=Y.

Whether you agree or disagree with me on this issue, I look forward to hearing from you. What’s your opinion: Is President Obama taking the wrong approach in proposing these new budget cuts for agriculture, or is he merely doing what’s best for the nation as a whole?

When writing, please let me know your name, where you farm or work, what your comment is and whether or not I have permission to use your comment in a future Soybean E-Digest newsletter. You can contact me (John Pocock) at: john.pocock@penton.com.

You're also welcome to write to me if you have concerns or questions about this newsletter or have ideas on topics you’d like to see me write about for future issues. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for your readership – and farm on (if you dare)!