Farm bill biofuels, conservation programs take hit in approps bill

The fiscal 2012 appropriations bill approved yesterday by the House Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee would completely eliminate the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) and would also cut mandatory farm bill conservation spending by more than $1 billion. The bill would slash the Department of Agriculture budget by $2.6 billion relative to fiscal 2011 and $5 billion relative to what the Obama administration requested. The bill puts USDA’s funding even below 2008 levels. The bill will now move forward for a full committee markup.