Agriculture leaders denounced this week a Republican budget proposal that instructs the House Agriculture Committee to cut a total of $180 billion from programs administered by USDA, including more than $30 billion from farm safety net programs and crop insurance.

The FY2013 proposal from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is similar to his proposal last year and the Obama Administration FY2013 proposal, which would cut $32 billion from farm safety net programs.

Still, as Congressional agriculture leaders struggle to find a path for a 2012 Farm Bill in a very tight budget environment – and an election year – the Ryan budget outline was criticized almost immediately in both chambers.

House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) said the budget proposal “all but guarantees there will be no farm bill this year,” while Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) called it “irresponsible” and said it “does nothing to strengthen production agriculture.”