Analysis of Certain Aspects of the Proposed Agricultural Efficiency and Equity Act of 1985

RCED-85-118: Published: Apr 24, 1985. Publicly Released: Apr 24, 1985.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed certain aspects of the proposed Agricultural Efficiency and Equity Act of 1985, which would change the way the Department of Agriculture (USDA) determines the acreage bases and yields assigned to producers under various farm programs.

GAO found that a 1982 USDA decision to set base acreages to give producers the highest possible base for each crop has resulted in inflated acreage bases. The proposed act would: (1) limit acreage bases to reflect croplands actually planted; and (2) revise the yield formula to reflect actual production. In addition, GAO estimated that, if the proposed act had been in effect in 1983: (1) total base acreage in the areas reviewed would have been reduced by about 12.5 percent; (2) wheat and feed grain yields would not have been significantly affected, but cotton and rice yields would have decreased significantly; and (3) program payments for the areas reviewed would have been reduced by 16 percent.

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