Corrective Action, Reported by Department of Agriculture on a Factor Involving Federal Rice Deficiency Payments, Has Not Been Implemented

CED-80-48: Published: Jan 29, 1980. Publicly Released: Jan 29, 1980.

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On June 25, 1979, it was reported to Congress that the Economics, Statistics, and Cooperatives Service, which is the statistics agency of the Department of Agriculture (USDA), disagreed with a GAO proposal that it include in its computation of the national average market price of rice a factor to recognize the drying costs involved when farmers deliver green (high moisture) rice rather than dry rice to a rice miller.

In an August 14, 1979, statement to congressional committees on action taken on the GAO proposal, USDA said it had taken action to provide for a common basis for reporting quantity and price data on green and dry rice. However, further inquiries showed that while USDA made a slight procedural change to obtain quantity data on a common basis, it had not changed the way amounts paid for green rice are reported. Because the average market price is a key factor in determining whether and how much rice farmers will receive in Federal deficiency payments, the manner in which the average price is computed is economically important to taxpayers as well as farmers.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: This report resulted from a followup to an earlier GAO report; it was issued to the committees to point out the agency's misleading statements.

    Matter: Congress should amend the Agricultural Act of 1949 to provide that the quantities and amounts paid on rice purchases reported by millers be compiled on a common basis in computing the national average market price.


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