The USA Rice Federation and 21 other agricultural organizations wrote House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to strongly oppose farm bill and crop insurance mandatory funding cuts being included in any compromise package that is debated for fiscal year (FY) 2011 appropriations.  The federal government's FY 2011 ends Sept. 30.  The current FY 2011 temporary spending authority expires Friday.

"Agriculture has always contributed to deficit reduction in the past when called upon," the coalition wrote.  "But, we do feel strongly that any future contribution must be commensurate with our effect on the budget and that any savings from mandatory funding must be made in the context of the farm bill reauthorization anticipated this Congress."

Mandatory funding for farm policy has already been cut by $5 billion more than the recommendations by National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which last year proposed $10 billion in mandatory farm-program savings.

USA Rice is an active coalition leader in communicating to Congress the harmful impact of farm-program cuts outside the 2012 farm bill debate and that do not accurately represent the actual effect of the programs on the federal budget