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Abstract

As debate begins on the 1995 Farm Bill. One of the leading proposals for future farm policy is the expansion of the flex provision. This move would further limit the number of acres eligible for deficiency payments and increase the farmer's ability to respond to market and weather conditions. But how has the current flex provision affected agriculture? This paper examines how flex has been applied in different regions of the country and for different crops. The major producing regions of program crops often retain most of the flex acreage in the base crop while other regions use the flex acreage to shift to other crops or to idle the land. An economeric specification is put forth to investigate the impacts of market, weather, and farm program factors on flex usage. Responses to these factors vary across regions and across crops. Thus, flex has had vastly different regional impacts. Implications for the proposed expansion of flex are then discussed.

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