President Obama's 2013 budget proposal lays out US$32B in reductions through elimination of direct payments to farmers, cuts of subsidies to crop insurers, but proposes US$325M in competitive research grants to USDA, an increase of US$60M

MADISON, Wisconsin , February 13, 2012 (press release) – The Obama Administration rolled out a multi-trillion-dollar budget proposal Monday, February 13, which includes an increase in funding for agriculture related research and development.

The $3.8 trillion federal budget proposal shows the U.S. Department of Agriculture would endure cuts of $32 billion over 10 years, largely through the elimination of direct payments, as well as cuts of subsidies to crop insurers. However, the administration is proposing the U.S.D.A. receive $325 million in competitive research grants through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, an increase of $60 million over the current budget levels.

The proposal increases funding 2.6% to $5 billion for the U.S. Department of Energy and includes a bigger jump of 4.8% to $7.4 billion for the National Science Foundation.

The budget also shows overall support for STEM, with the important education program receiving $3 billion dollars through the proposal, an increase of 2.6%.

"The strong backing for federally funded research shows the importance of growing the workforce when it comes to agronomists, crop and soil scientists; as well as attracting and educating the next generations of scientists,” says American Society of Agronomy, Soil Science Society of America, and Crop Science Society of America Chief Executive Officer Ellen Bergfeld. “These scientists will help feed the world's burgeoning population in a sustainable manner while ensuring that the U.S. remains competitive globally,” Bergfeld explains, “The Science Societies looks forward to working together in developing these new opportunities-- now, and for years to come."

The Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), founded in 1955, is an international scientific society comprised of 6,000+ members with its headquarters in Madison, WI. Members advance the discipline of crop science by acquiring and disseminating information about crop breeding and genetics; crop physiology; crop ecology, management, and quality; seed physiology, production, and technology; turfgrass science; forage and grazinglands; genomics, molecular genetics, and biotechnology; and biomedical and enhanced plants.

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