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Farm Subsidies

May 17, 2002 • Volume 12, Issue 19
Do they favor large farming operations?
By David Hosansky

Introduction

A farmer in Ohio cultivates to control weeds in his soybean field. Congress approved and President Bush signed an election-year farm bill this month that will pour billions of dollars in subsidies into Midwestern and Southern states that are political battlegrounds for lawmakers in both parties.  (USDA Photo/Keith Weller)
A farmer in Ohio cultivates to control weeds in his soybean field. Congress approved and President Bush signed an election-year farm bill this month that will pour billions of dollars in subsidies into Midwestern and Southern states that are political battlegrounds for lawmakers in both parties. (USDA Photo/Keith Weller)

Scrapping efforts to move U.S. agriculture toward the free market, Congress just passed and President Bush signed into law a $249 billion measure substantially increasing farm programs over the next 10 years, including $90 billion in susidies. Supporters say subsidies help keep farmers solvent when crops fail or prices plummet. Critics contend subsidies overwhelmingly go to large agricultural operations, interfere with the free market and encourage farmers to overproduce subsidized crops. Bush initially wanted to redirect some subsidy money toward conservation programs. But political reality forced him to support the bill: In this fall's midterm congressional elections, several key Senate races are in farm states, and Republicans want to regain control of the Senate. Plus, Bush will need support in the heartland if he runs for re-election in 2004.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Farm Loans and Subsidies
May 17, 2002  Farm Subsidies
Apr. 11, 1986  Farm Finance
Sep. 03, 1941  Government Payments to Farmers
May 27, 1940  Government Farm Loans
Dec. 12, 1936  Government Aid to Farm Tenants
Mar. 20, 1935  Farm Tenancy in the United States
Dec. 08, 1932  Plans for Crop Surplus Control and Farm Mortgage Relief
Jul. 25, 1932  The Burden of Farm Mortgage Debt
Mar. 20, 1929  Plans of Farm Relief
Apr. 21, 1928  The Economic Position of the Farmer
Oct. 20, 1927  The Federal Farm Loan System
May 03, 1926  Congress and the Farm Problem
May 21, 1924  Agricultural Distress and Proposed Relief Measures
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Campaigns and Elections
Campaigns and Elections
Farm Loans, Insurance, and Subsidies
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