Farm Payments:

Payments to Entities Exempt From the $50,000 Limit and to Foreign Addresses

RCED-88-37BR: Published: Nov 4, 1987. Publicly Released: Nov 4, 1987.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed payments the Department of Agriculture (USDA) made under 1984 through 1986 farm programs to entities exempt from the $50,000 payment limit and to persons living outside of the United States.

GAO found that: (1) the number of entities exempt from the $50,000 payment limit increased from 106 in 1984 to 152 in 1986; (2) farming operations on state-owned lands account for most of the exemptions; (3) 21 entities with exempt status actually received payments in excess of $50,000 in at least one year; (4) these excess payments totalled $10.6 million during the 3-year period; and (5) USDA granted over 15 percent of the 1986 exemptions to entities that did not qualify. GAO also found that: (1) the number of producers receiving payments at foreign addresses ranged from 159 in 1984 to 259 in 1986; (2) over 87 percent of foreign payments went to Canada; and (3) USDA paid $22 million to foreign addresses from 1984 through 1986.

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