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Growing Farm Size and the Distribution of Farm Payments

by James M. MacDonald, Robert Hoppe, and David Banker

Economic Brief No. (EB-6) 4 pp, March 2006

Cover image Crop production is shifting to much larger farms. Since government commodity payments reflect production volumes for program commodities, payments are also shifting to larger farms. In turn, the operators of very large farms have substantially higher household incomes than other farm households, and as a result government commodity payments are also shifting to much higher-income households. Since the changes in farm structure appear to be ongoing, commodity payments will likely, under current policies, continue to shift to higher income households. This brief uses 2003 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) data to detail the shifts.

Keywords: Farm structure, commodity programs, farm payments, farm household income, farm income, farm program payments

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Last updated: Thursday, February 21, 2013

For more information contact: James M. MacDonald, Robert Hoppe, and David Banker