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Iowa Ag Review

Abstract

The new farm bill and the Agricultural Risk Protection Act (ARPA) provide us with good insight into Congress’s farm policy objectives. When all was said and done, Congress felt no need to justify the billions in farm aid as fulfilling some broad public purpose. Rather, the actions of Congress have revealed a simple objective: to support per-acre revenues of a chosen few commodities—corn, cotton, wheat, rice, peanuts, soybeans (and minor oilseeds), barley, oats, and sugar. Heavily subsidized crop insurance protects farmers against per-acre yield (and revenue) shortfalls, and the combination of the new countercyclical payment program and the marketing loan program protects farmers against price declines.

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