The data on the distribution of direct government payments challenges the prevailing belief that little needs to be done in revising the commodity programs for the 1990 farm bill. At least, if the objective of the commodity programs is to support incomes of disadvantaged low income farm businesses it is likely to continue to miss the mark based on recent experience. In 1987 more than 40 percent of direct government payments to farm operators went to 60,000 farmers who averaged more than $75,000 In payments, almost $100,000 in net cash farm incomes and more than $750,000 in net farm worth.


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