Farm Payments:

USDA's Proposed Changes to the $50,000 Payment Limit Could Be Improved

RCED-87-190: Published: Sep 11, 1987. Publicly Released: Sep 11, 1987.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) report to Congress on the $50,000-per-person payment limitation on farm program direct payments.

GAO found that: (1) USDA proposed to limit total payments to any individual to $50,000 regardless of whether the individual owned or shared ownership of a farm; (2) the proposal would not achieve the desired effect, since it would allow an individual with no farming interest to own a number of lands and still qualify for payment; and (3) total payments would increase as more and more investors with no active participation in farming would qualify for payments.

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