Leaders of the U.S. House and Senate farm panels told the Congressional supercommittee this week that spending on agriculture, rural development and nutrition should be cut by no more than $23 billion over the next decade.

Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Pat Roberts (R-KS), Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Representatives Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Collin Peterson (D-MN), Chair and Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee sent the letter to the supercommittee to encourage them to consider the challenges facing the nation’s producers:

“America’s farmers and ranchers face a daunting challenge producing the food, fiber, and fuel for a rapidly growing global population,” the letter said. “Farming and ranching are extremely high-risk undertakings – as clearly demonstrated by the devastating weather events across the nation this year.  America’s producers need tools to manage their risk in case of natural disasters and increasingly volatile prices; the Farm Bill provides those tools.”

According to Bloomberg, the House and Senate farm panels will provide the supercommittee with specific recommendations on what to cut, including possible reductions in farm subsidies, by Nov. 1.

The 12-member bipartisan supercommittee has until Nov. 23 to come up with a plan to cut the federal budget deficit by at least $1.2 trillion. The law that created the panel requires automatic, across-the board spending cuts if Congress doesn’t approve its recommendations.

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Source: Senate and House Agriculture Committees, Bloomberg