Current U.S. farm programs make payments to farmers based in part on historical base acres planted in particular program crops such as corn, soybeans, cotton, wheat and soybeans. Eligibility for payments includes regulations on the crops allowed to be grown on base acres, and there are restrictions on planting horticultural crops on such base acres. The fruits and planting restriction on base acres has potentially influenced the number of acres planted to fruits and vegetables over the past two decades. This research carefully examines the effects of planting restrictions applied to vegetables and program crops, using county-level data in the United States in 1982, 1987, 1992 and 1997. The paper employs the difference-indifference (DiD) approach to estimate acreage response to planting restrictions. The results show planting restrictions crowded out land used for growing fruits and vegetables, most notably in the Great Lakes region that produces processing vegetables.


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