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Abstract

Adoption of variable price support (VPS) schedules could be effective in controlling agricultural production and targeting program benefits to specific farm groups. The design of a VPS program would require determination of price schedules for farm-level production decisions that satisfy both farmer and program objectives. We applied a primal-dual mathematical programming model to the determination of a VPS program for production control of US corn, wheat, and soybeans. We show that government program costs under the VPS program would decline to $15 billion from $26.8 billion under a comparably scaled mandatory production control program. The program benefits to a 120-acre farm would increase 80 percent to $18,000 from $10,000 while the benefits to a 2,500-acre farm would fall 82 percent to $40,000.

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