The United States Government pays out approximately 20 billion in farm subsidies annually. The direct subsidy program does not take into account the financial need of the farmer. There are various reasons for the subsidies one of which is cost control. Inventory control is essential in controlling consumer costs. Farmers in some cases are asked not to raise a particular product. This is considered unfair, so the subsidies are paid out to compensate.
Agriculture and the definition of farming have changed since the subsidies acts where passed in the 1920′s and 30′s. Today virtually, any parcel of land not zoned commercial or residential can be called a farm. The owner of the property may not intend to produce anything. The subsidies act allows payment to the owner not to produce any agricultural products. The current law leaves the door open for less than honorable intentions.
The number of farms owned by individuals has shrunk dramatically since the laws inception. Large corporations now own many farms and run them as a corporation. The corporation has already tallied in the subsidies as income. Their intention was to make money by doing nothing. As far as stopping all subsidies, that may be over kill. Farmers should be allowed to raise crops as demand dictates. The inventory and pricing can get out of control though. Farming is a tough business, but as with any business, supply and demand should play a role. Do not produce something that will not sell.
Subsidies should be based on supply and demand. The farmers should be given the option of using the free market system, or be paid not to grow if certain conditions are in place. Individuals that buy land to call it farm should not be eligible for subsidies. Individuals should be asked to prove they have a history of agricultural production on land they own.