May 24, 2017

Trump’s Proposed Cut to SNAP & Food Insecurity

The White House has released a new budget proposal, and it’s not good news for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Plan, commonly known as food stamps or Link in Illinois. The plan calls for a $193 billion, or 25 percent, cut to the program that currently serves 42 million Americans. Craig Gundersen, professor in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois, has been studying SNAP and its effects on food insecurity for years.

“SNAP is a great program. It is the key component of the social safety net against food insecurity,” Gundersen says.

Given the success of SNAP, Gundersen emphasizes that efforts to cut the size of the program will lead to dramatic increases in food insecurity.

Food insecurity and SNAP were the topics of a recent podcast and Twitter chat with Gundersen.

According to Gundersen, food insecurity is a major contributor to negative health outcomes in the United States. These range from depression and malnutrition to behavioral problems for children in school. Given this, it is not surprising that food insecurity also leads to substantially higher health care costs. “Because SNAP leads to greater food security, the program also brings down health care costs,” he says.

Overall, Gundersen says he can’t think of a more successful government program than SNAP. The research indicates that the program is associated with higher nutrient intake, reductions in poverty, and reductions in infant mortality. But it does more than that.

“One of the key advantages to SNAP is that it gives dignity to recipients,” he says. “They can purchase what they think is best for their families. Restricting that is demeaning and stigmatizing to poor people.”


May 24, 2017

Trump Administration Budget Sets Farm Bill Guide Posts

This week the Trump Administration released its FY18 budget. It includes harsh cuts to agricultural entitlement programs. Todd Gleason discusses the plan with University of Illinois Agricultural Policy Specialist Jonathan Coppess.


May 22, 2017

Crop Progress & June Acreage Could be Really Bearish

There is a rule of thumb for marketing that says "Consider the crop year normal until that is no longer the case." The May 22nd USDA Weekly Crop Progress report - despite the rainy weather - tells us the nation's farmers are on pace this season. They've planted 84% of the corn crop and 53% of the soybeans. For University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Todd Hubbs this suggests, at a minimum, farmers need to really think about making new crop soybean sales prior to the USDA's June 30th Acreage Report. Hubbs writes about commodity prices each week for the University of Illinois. Those articles are posted to the farmdocDaily website each Monday.


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