USDA Budget Cuts Proposed for FY20

On March 11, 2019, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the Trump Administration’s proposed budget for the U.S. Government in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. Under the budget proposal, funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) would be reduced by $3.6 billion or 14.8 percent, compared to FY2019 levels.

The budget proposal retains some funding for USDA research programs. It “prioritizes competitive research through [USDA’s] flagship grant program, the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI),” providing an additional $100 million for the initiative (over FY2019 levels). However, large funding cuts are proposed for other research programs, including:

  • the Agricultural Research Service, which would have its funding cut by $133 million or 9.5 percent (compared to FY2019 levels); and
  • the National Agricultural Statistics Service, which would have its funding cut by $28 million or 14.7% (compared to FY2019 levels).

On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed H.R. 1865 -- the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 -- into law. Division B of H.R. 1865 provides $23.5 billion in discretionary funding for "Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies." That represents an increase of $451 million above FY2019 levels. Notably, Congress rejected the Trump administration's proposed cuts to the Agricultural Research Service and National Agricultural Statistics Service, and instead increased funding for agricultural research by 5.5 percent (compared to FY2019 levels) to $2.7 billion.