RL32590 - Average Farm Subsidy Payments, by State, 2002
16-Sep-2004; Jasper Womach; 30 p.
Update: January 5, 2004
Abstract: The U.S. Department of Agriculture makes direct subsidy payments through the Commodity Credit Corporation to farmers for commodity price and income support, certain conservation and environmental activities, and some disaster losses. In 2002, these direct farm subsidy payments amounted to $12.151 billion.
This report examines the distribution of these payments among states, calculates the average size of payments going to recipient farms in each state, and distinguishes between payments received by farm operators and landlords. This information is intended to aid in policy debates about subsidizing some farms but not others, changing per-person payment limits, and the altering eligibility rules for landlords to receive payments.
More money went to Texas ($1.2 billion) than any other state. Texas along with the next 10 leading states received 56% of total farm subsidy payments. These states were largely concentrated in the nation?s central farm belt, where much of the subsidized corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, and rice are produced. Also ranking high were California (due to cotton and rice) and Georgia (due to peanuts).
The subsidy payments were made to the operators and landlords of 707,596 farms (one-third of all farms in the nation). However, in some states a much higher proportion of the farms were subsidized (e.g., North Dakota, 78%, and Iowa, 70%).
On average, the payments amounted to $17,172 per subsidized farm. The range was from a low of $3,401 per subsidized farm in West Virginia to a high of $90,214 per subsidized farm in California. Farm operators received an average of $9,251 each and landlords received an average of $5,617 each.
Data on state averages obscure the high concentrations of payments to a relatively small proportion of the farms receiving subsidies. While there were a total of 1,705,514 separate ?persons? that received payments in 2002, 50% of the subsidy payments went to 85,358 persons (or just 5% of the recipients).
This report is intended as a reference and informational resource and is not expected to be regularly updated.