Agriculture and Food:
Examples of USDA's Application of the $50,000 Payment Limitation
RCED-86-29FS, Oct 18, 1985
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed how the Department of Agriculture applied the $50,000 payment limitation to potential problem farmers, specifically where: (1) farmers were receiving more than $50,000 in total payments; (2) individuals or other entities were receiving payments, but were not actually farming the land; and (3) more than one individual or other entity was receiving payments on the same farm.
GAO found that: (1) where a farmer owned or jointly owned four farms, the farmer could receive up to $50,000 on the one farm he had 100-percent ownership in, and an additional $25,000 for his 50-percent ownership on the three corporate entities; (2) as long as individuals, partnerships, or corporations have an interest in a particular farm, they are entitled to farm program payments; (3) under current farm program regulations, individuals residing in foreign countries can receive farm program payments as long as they have been determined to have a land-owning interest in a particular farm; and (4) an individual cannot receive more than $50,000 in total farm program payments if he is receiving payments on other farm interests.