The overall payments given to farmers by state of recipients for 1995-2005.
Farm Subsidies Reform Contained in 2010 Budget
Published Friday, April 17th, 2009
The 2010 Federal Budget has caused some concern over its $3.6 trillion price tag and some of its reforms. The new budget has called for some farm reforms that have spurred debate on both sides of the Hill. One of the main contentions is that the budget “supports the implementation of a $250,000 commodity program payment limit. The payment limit will help ensure that payments are made to those who most need them.” This program targets farm programs to family farmers and provides the stability and predictability against market disruptions and weather disasters. Moreover, the President wants to transition large farms from direct payments to increased income from revenue derived from emerging environmental services. The President will phase out direct payments over 3 years to farmers with sales revenue over $500,000.
Currently, direct payments of farm subsidies are made to even large producers regardless of crop prices, losses, or whether the land is still under production. The total cost of farm subsidies in current dollars over the last 40 years is somewhere in the neighborhood of $140 billion. This current reform has stemmed from the fact that 10% of all who received farm subsidies received 72 % of all payments made between 1996-present. Accordingly, only 13 states are awarded Farm Subsidies between $5 and $14.9 billion out of the $140 billion total.
U.S. Department of Agriculture: Subsidies - http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/aer812/
Agricultural policy is rooted in the 1930's notion that providing transfers of money to the farm sector translates into increased economic well-being of farm families. This report shows that neither change in income for the farm sector nor for any particular group of farm business can be presumed to reflect changes confronting farm households.
USDA-Marketing and Trade
The USDA has helpful tools to understand the marketing and trade of the agriculture business both domestic and international.