Faculty Research at Morehead State University


Factors Influencing Farm Operator Expectations on Future Levels of Government Support

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From 1996 through 2008, the federal government has distributed an average of $15.4 billion annually to U.S. farms through various government payment programs (USDA, 2010). Such payments include fixed direct payments, counter-cyclical payments, loan deficiency payments, marketing loan benefits, commodity specific program payments (tobacco, peanuts, and milk), conservation program payments, and ad hoc emergency and disaster payments (Table 1). The policies establishing these payment programs are the attempt of Congress to redistribute income in response to pressure from voters and farm lobbyists (Gardner, 1987). Policy changes were also in response to pressures from the international community and World Trade Organization to decrease price distortions in agricultural commodities stemming from government intervention (Burfisher and Hopkins, 2003).