(Dec. 12) With adjustments for inflation added in, the American Farm Bureau Federation said Dec. 7 that farm subsidies in the upcoming farm bill should be funded at least at the same level as authorized in the 2002 version.

In a letter to President Bush, Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, said the Washington D.C.-based group was concerned that the U.S. was poised to slash subsidies for program crops.

Farm Bureau is concerned the next version of the farm bill may feature reduced program crop subsidies, Stallman said in a news release.

The release said the current Congressional Budget Office baseline for 2008 through 2013 projects farm bill spending at $488 billion, up from $465 billion Congress committed to funding for the 2002 bill.

However, the release said office’s projected division of funds shifts substantially from that approved for the 2002 bill. Nutrition funding is expected to grow 15%, and conservation funding will rise 35%. On the other hand, the release said spending for farm programs is slated to decrease by 42% by the office.

A new baseline to be released in March may reduce the farm program baseline to roughly half of the $99 billion Congress authorized on commodity programs in the 2002 farm bill, according to the release.