Nixon budget cuts anger agriculture industry

Gov. Jay Nixon’s most recent budget withholds have angered the state’s agriculture industry.

Last week Nixon cut more than $4 million from state agriculture programs as part of a larger budget cut package. That included $2.9 million from the deferred biodiesel subsidy transfer and $1 million for the dairy revitalization program.

The Missouri Soybean Association is currently almost $10 million in debt under Missouri’s Qualified Biodiesel Producer Incentive Fund. The association said the budget cuts this month and in July affected money the legislature had provided to fully repay the debts.

The cuts to the dairy industry have also lead to anger. Part of the $4 million in cuts included $1 million targeted to increase education about the dairy industry, which has been hit hard by falling milk prices across the country. Industry experts say the cuts have essentially gutted the program.

At his monthly budget briefing, Interim Budget Director Dan Haug said the state would have to see 5.5 percent growth for the budget to be balanced and significantly higher growth for withholds – like the biodiesel and dairy withholds – to be released.

Read more: Missouri Times

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