Wheat Commodity Program:

Despite Reforms, Government's Involvement Remains Substantial

RCED-93-30: Published: Mar 18, 1993. Publicly Released: Mar 18, 1993.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the effects of the 1985 and 1990 U.S. wheat program reforms, focusing on the: (1) reforms' effect on farmers' production decisions; (2) government's costs in managing wheat stocks; and (3) government's involvement in wheat-related supports.

GAO found that: (1) the 1985 and 1990 wheat program reforms reoriented farmers' production decisions toward market forces and reduced the federal government's involvement and costs in managing surplus wheat; (2) the reforms lowered farm supports and target prices, changed the way the government calculated deficiency payments to farmers, and linked acreage levels to wheat stock levels; (3) although the government's role in wheat farmers' production decisions has been reduced, the government continued to provide producers $2.3 billion in deficiency payments between 1990 and 1991; (4) 1985 reforms that reduced the government's costs for managing wheat stocks also reduced price supports, established mechanisms to reduce accumulated stocks, and expanded U.S. export markets; (5) the cost of the Conservation Reserve Program and the Export Enhancement Program totalled about $800 million annually, but program costs were offset by reduced deficiency payments resulting from lower domestic supplies and associated higher market prices; and (6) although governmental costs varied depending on weather conditions and international wheat prices, future government costs are expected to decline.

May 7, 2020

Apr 13, 2020

Dec 23, 2019

Dec 6, 2019

Nov 12, 2019

Oct 28, 2019

Sep 9, 2019

Jul 25, 2019

Jul 11, 2019

Jun 21, 2019

Looking for more? Browse all our products here