Obama proposes slashing farm payments

By: By MARY CLARE JALONICK, Associated Press Writer
By: By MARY CLARE JALONICK, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Big farms that receive large government subsidies would lose some of that money under President Barack Obama's budget.

His proposal would cut government subsidies to farmers, targeting large-scale operations that get the highest payments.

Obama's budget would break from the five-year farm bill that Congress enacted last year, with his support. He proposes eliminating what are known as direct payments - subsidies that are paid to farmers regardless of crop prices or crop yield - for producers with higher sales revenues.

Under Obama's request, agriculture programs would receive $26 billion, almost a 9 percent increase over the 2009 budget year. That does not include the recent economic stimulus or entitlement spending for food stamp programs.

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