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A barn and silo under a blue sky.
Agriculture
  1. Farm efficiency in the United States
  2. Who Farms in the United States?
  3. Growth of Large Corporate Farming
  4. Minorities as Farm Operators
  5. Agricultural Subsidies
  6. Food for Peace Program
  7. Major Crops in the United States
  8. Major U.S. Crops: Corn
  9. Major U.S. Crops: Soybeans
  10. Major U.S. Crops: Wheat
  11. Major U.S. Crops: Cotton
  12. Planting and Harvesting Cotton
  13. Major U.S. Crops: Rice
  14. How Rice Is Grown in the United States
  15. Dairy Farming in the United States
  16. Cheese Production in the United States
  17. Poultry and Meat Production in the United States
  18. Raising Cattle for Beef
  19. Factory Farming
  20. Farm Mechanization in the United States
  21. Biotechnology and Farming in the United States
  22. Organic Farming in the United States
  23. Farm Aid
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A large yellow machine piles large red potatoes.
Throughout the West, there are many large-scale farms.
Photo Courtesy of the United States Department of Agriculture. Photo by Gene Alexander.
Agricultural Subsidies
In the early 1950s, American farms produced huge crop surpluses. This drove down the prices farmers could get for their crops. In order for farmers to sell their crops at a profit, crop surpluses had to be eliminated. Subsequently, the Soil Bank program was created in 1956 to pay (subsidize) farmers not to grow certain crops. In theory, as crop supplies dwindled, the price farmers got for their crops would increase. In reality, due to improving farm efficiency the subsidy program had little effect. Even though less land was being used for some crops, the yield on cultivated land increased dramatically. Direct payment to farmers continued to increase in the 1970s. The main crops farmers were paid not to grow were feed grain, cotton, and wheat. By 2000, annual subsidies to farmers had swelled to over 22 billion dollars a year.
Special Terms: crop surplus  |  Soil Bank

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