Agriculture advocacy groups have reacted with a flurry of unhappy responses to President Obama’s Feb. 1 release of his proposed 2011 budget. The proposed budget “reflects the serious challenges facing the country,” said Obama the day of its release. “We're at war. Our economy has lost 7 million jobs over the last two years. And our government is deeply in debt after what can only be described as a decade of profligacy.”

Obama’s attempt to control government spending (pegged at over $1.5 trillion for this year) would mean payment cuts not only to large farmers (more than $2 billion over a decade) and agriculture-related insurance (some $8 billion over a decade), but also – to the consternation of some environmental groups – would reduce the growth of conservation programs.

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