Agronomy, Crop, and Soil Science Societies urge congress to avoid devastating budget cuts

Food, agriculture, and environmental research part of sequestration spending slash

The American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) joined with 3000 other organizations in warning Congress-- any automatic budget cuts set for January of 2013 will have devastating effects on the nondefense discretionary (NDD) community-- especially research and education funding for food, agriculture, and environmental sciences.

ASA, CSSA, and SSSA leadership urged Congressional Members to avert budget sequestration and instead adopt a “balanced approach to deficit reduction that does not include further cuts to NDD programs.' The organizations involved, including ASA, CSSA, and SSSA, represent the potential scope of sequestration, which would reduce NDD spending by approximately 8% across most federal programs, while cutting defense spending by approximately 7.5%. Sequestration was included in a 2011 agreement raising the federal debt ceiling in exchange for a commitment to reduce the federal deficit by more than $1-trillion over the next decade. ASA, CSSA, and SSSA Chief Executive Officer Ellen Bergfeld says it’s especially important to protect the investment in science and technology. “If sequestration occurs, there will be fewer job opportunities related to scientific and technological advances. Spending has already been cut and we face what could be an immediate and widespread impact on the food, agriculture, and environmental research needed to grow the economic performance and competitiveness of the United States,” explains Bergfeld.

The NDD community of organizations will be working together to continue educating policymakers on the importance of protecting science programs from any additional cuts.

Read the letter to Congress in its entirety, here:

The American Society of Agronomy (ASA), is a scientific society helping its 8,000+ members advance the disciplines and practices of agronomy by supporting professional growth and science policy initiatives, and by providing quality, research-based publications and a variety of member services.

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