Oats acreage has trended downward since the 1950's. Most oats production is fed to livestock on farms where produced, and exports are relatively small. Oats production and demand are in close balance. Price support loans have been available to oats producers since the late 1940's; however, deficiency and diversion payments were not made to them until 1983. Program costs in fiscal year 1983 were $12 million, about 1.3 percent of the 1982 crop value.