For most of the past 50 years federal legislation has been an integral part of American agriculture's economic structure. Government farm policy was traditionally intended to lend stability to an erratic agricultural and rural economy.
Criticism of past programs has come from farm and non-farm sectors alike. Taxpayers didn't like paying farmers for not producing crops. Corporate and industrial interests wanted maximum production because it meant more food on the market and greater use of fuel, chemicals, fertilizers and equipment. Historically, full production has resulted in commodity surpluses, which produce very low prices and waste natural resources. Farmers have been critical of past programs for being overly comp licated, restrictive and favoring large farms.
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