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Agriculture: Farm Program Payments (2011-35)

Reducing farm program direct payments could result in savings from $800 million over 10 years to up to $5 billion annually.


Congress may wish to consider reducing or eliminating fixed annual payments to farmers, called direct payments, by (1) lowering payment or income eligibility limits; (2) reducing the portion of a farm's acres eligible for the payments; or (3) terminating or phasing out direct payments.


As GAO suggested in March 2011, Congress eliminated direct payments when it passed, and the President signed, the Agricultural Act of 2014. This action will save about $4.9 billion annually from fiscal year 2015 through 2023, according to the Congressional Budget Office's February 2013 estimate, which does not include sequestration.

Implementing Entity:

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    • Anne-Marie Fennell
    • Director, Natural Resources and Environment
    • (202) 512-3841