The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its February baseline on agricultural program costs over 10 years (FY 2014-FY-2023). CBO will release another baseline in March, which will be used by Congress in writing the new farm bill. The preliminary numbers are not as bad as many were expecting. Key points from the 10-year baseline report are:

  • Total 10-year baseline for all titles of the current farm bill drop from $995 billion to $981 billion, a 1.4% reduction.
  • Nutrition programs (86% of USDA budget) drop from $771.8 billion to $760.1 billion, a 1.5% reduction primarily due to a reduction in unemployment.
  • Commodity programs increase $1.3 billion from $62.9 billion to $64.3 billion.
  • Crop insurance title goes from $89.8 billion to $86.9 billion, a 3.2% reduction.
  • Conservation programs decline from $65.3 billion to $64.9 billion.
  • CBO projects 97 million acres of corn will be planted in 2013 with a season average price of $4.51/bu.