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Source: blog by Carl Zulauf, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics, Ohio State University and Gary Schnitkey, Krista Swanson, and Nick Paulson, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois

Different farm program payments across crops have been an on-going US farm policy issue, with the focus often on high per acre payments to cotton, peanuts, and rice. Coppess discusses this issue extensively. An important economic question is, "Have different payments impacted the geographical distribution of US crops?"

This study finds that, since the late 1990s, the share of US principal crop acres (see Data Note 1) in states with cotton, peanut, and rice program base acres has declined. While a simple analysis and not the only way to analyze the issue, this finding suggests different program payments across crops has not had a large impact on the geographic distribution of US crops.

2014 -2017 Payments: Figure 1 illustrates the recent difference in farm program payments across crops, specifically different cumulative payments per base acre for 2014-2017 crops from the 2014 Farm Bill's ARC-CO and PLC programs (Agriculture Risk Coverage - County; Price Loss Coverage). The range was $1 per base acre summed over all 4 years (sesame) to $554 per base acre summed over all 4 years (peanuts).

Payment per base acre is 45 times higher for peanuts than crambe, which has second lowest cumulative payment. The other 4 crops that are the focus of this study (long-grain rice, medium-grain rice, Japonica rice, and cotton rank 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 9th, respectively, out of 23 program commodities. The 2018 crop was also under the 2014 Farm Bill, but was not included since the cotton generic base program was replaced by a new seed cotton program (see Data Note 2).

To read the entire report click here.

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