USDA budget request similar to ’05

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns released details Feb. 7 of President Bush’s fiscal year 2006 USDA budget, with little change predicted from fiscal year 2005 levels.
Total USDA outlays increased from about $72 billion in 2004 to $94.9 billion in 2005 and are projected to remain at roughly that level in 2006 at $94.6 billion.
The increase from 2004 to 2005 is largely due to higher Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) outlays for commodity programs (+$13 billion) and domestic nutrition assistance (+$7 billion).
The higher 2005 CCC outlays reflect higher loan deficiency and other crop payments due to lower crop prices and disaster payments, Johanns said.
Outlays for CCC are estimated to decline by about $5 billion between 2005, which included outlays from disaster supplemental funds and 2006.
The higher domestic nutrition assistance outlays were primarily a result of a 10 percent increase in food stamp participation between 2004 and 2005.
Discretionary budget. Budget authority for USDA discretionary programs has been roughly $22 billion in recent years.
In 2005, this included about $1 billion in emergency supplemental funds for forest fire suppression and in response to the hurricanes and other disasters.
The 2006 budget proposes $19.4 billion in budget authority for discretionary programs – down about $2.6 billion from 2005. About $1 billion of this saving is achieved from the one-time disaster funding in 2005, which is not continued in the 2006 budget.
Highlights of the 2006 proposal include:

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