Now that we’ve discussed nutrition and conservation programs in the Farm Bill, the time has come to direct our attention to the elephant in the room: agricultural subsidies. The commodity programs represent 15% of Farm Bill spending, which is $42 billion, the second largest Farm Bill allocation (you’ll recall that nutrition spending is the largest). And it’s a controversial topic that requires some careful consideration.
Since the commodity support programs are such an important topic, we’ll spend a few weeks on them. This time, we’ll try to understand how the commodity programs came to be and how they work, and next time we’ll talk more about their implications.