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The 2002 Farm Bill has negatively impacted the finances of new/expanding fruit and vegetable (FAV) growers interested in diversifying their operations. Producers wishing to grow FAV on farms that do not have a historical record of such production must either remove their farm from government program payments or face penalties for planting FAV on subsidized acres. If a grower removes a farm from the program, he/she will lose the government payments for the entire farm, not just the acres that are planted to FAV production. Combined with penalties for producing on any land without historical production in FAV, the addition of soybeans as a base eligible crop has unintentionally removed thousands of Midwestern acres previously available for FAV production. The results of the analysis indicate that the current farm policy restricts the income for new/expanding FAV growers. The 2002 Farm Bill scenario reveals that a new/expanding FAV grower with the same farm which now includes soybean base acres would receive $20.13 per planted acre less than they would have under the 1996 Farm Bill.


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