Transition Series:

Agriculture Issues

OCG-89-12TR: Published: Nov 1, 1988. Publicly Released: Nov 1, 1988.

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GAO presented its views on Department of Agriculture (USDA) program issues facing the new administration.

GAO found that the new administration will need to: (1) prevent the accumulation of unneeded grain surpluses and minimize costly grain stock acquisition, storage, and disposal; (2) create alternative production controls that retain USDA influence over crop production but allow farmers more flexibility to respond to market opportunities; (3) ease the administrative burden on the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service to make farm programs more effective; (4) implement revised farm loan criteria to minimize loan defaults and help farmers to become financially sound through time limits and measurable financial improvement and to graduate to alternative credit sources; (5) develop a long-term strategy to curtail dairy product surpluses; (6) exercise better control over private companies selling and servicing crop insurance; (7) either eliminate competing disaster assistance programs or permit the receipt of program benefits only upon participation in the crop insurance program, to prevent further deterioration of the program's financial condition; (8) develop strategies for increasing exports, increase the flexibility of federal policies to enhance international competitiveness, and improve management control over export programs, to improve U.S. export performance; and (9) improve the effectiveness and accuracy of the food stamp sanction system and resolve unpaid sanctions owed to the federal government.

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