New Approach Needed To Control Production of Major Crops if Surpluses Again Occur

CED-77-57: Published: Apr 25, 1977. Publicly Released: Apr 25, 1977.

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The effects of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) programs to prevent the accumulation of excess agricultural commodities are the focus of this report.

During the 1971-1973 crop years, the CCC paid farmers $7.6 billion to set aside cropland. When all-out agricultural production was called for, the amount of planted cropland fell short by about 21 million acres of the amount paid for. Most of this difference was in land normally set aside by farmers in their cropland rotation pattern (summer fallow). Smaller portions of the 21 million acres represented cropland retained for grazing or converted to nonagricultural uses. Payments for summer fallow occurred primarily in the wheat programs. About $800 million of the total wheat set-aside payments did not result in a reduction of planted acreage. Surpluses of major crops could occur again, and future programs should avoid these excess payments.

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