A letter co-signed by 39 other agricultural and related organizations and sent to congressional leaders expresses “strong opposition to the more than $16 billion in cuts to the farm safety net proposed in President Obama’s fiscal 2010 budget.” The USA Rice Federation developed and coordinated the budget letter.

The organizations sent the detailed letter to House and Senate budget and agriculture committee chairmen and ranking Republicans.

U.S. producers are struggling to understand and comply with confusing, costly and burdensome payment and eligibility rule changes that far exceed what the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (farm bill) required, the Congress intended, and producers anticipated.

The “cuts … threaten, once again, to change the rules midstream on American farm and ranch families,” the letter said.

The letter’s signatories said the proposed spending reductions would “strike at the economic heart” of full-time farm families of all sizes “in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression … [and] at a time when net farm income is projected to be down 20 percent.”

The proposals threaten “the viability of … family-owned farms and ranches,” which would further undermine the U.S. economy, the letter said.

Organizations signing with the USA Rice Federation:

• Alabama Peanut Producers Association

• American Association of Crop Insurers

• American Beekeeping Federation

• American Farm Bureau Federation

• American Sesame Growers Association

• American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers

• American Soybean Association

• American Sugar Alliance

• CoBank

• Crop Insurance Professionals Association

• Crop Insurance Research Bureau

• Farm Credit Council

• Florida Peanut Producers Association

• Georgia Peanut Commission

• Independent Community Bankers of America

• Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America

• Mississippi Peanut Growers Association

• National Association of Wheat Growers

• National Barley Growers Association

• National Corn Growers Association

• National Cotton Council

• National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

• National Farmers Union

• National Sorghum Producers

• National Sunflower Association

• North Carolina Peanut Growers Association

• Northeast States Association for Agriculture Stewardship

• Peanut Growers Cooperative Marketing Association

• Rain and Hail LLC

• Rural Community Insurance Services

• State Agriculture and Rural Leaders

• Southern Peanut Farmers Federation

• Southwest Council of Agribusiness

• United Dairymen of Arizona

• US Canola Association

• US Rice Producers Association

• USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council

• USA Rice Federation

• Virginia Peanut Growers Association

• Western Peanut Growers Association