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Abstract

Excerpt from the report: The U.S. farm sector has been continually adjusting to new and changing conditions since the 1930's. Federal policies and programs have been advanced over the years to deal with problems in the sector caused by these conditions. But, Federal policies and programs have not solved the problems of the 1980's: reduced exports, crop surpluses, and farm financial stress. The 1985 Food Security Act, based on a complicated, half-century old network of former and existing legislation, moves the U.S. farm sector closer to being more responsive to domestic and foreign markets. However, the programs under the act are costly and continue to distort economic signals to farmers, thereby affecting resource use patterns. This bulletin, describes changes in the farm sector, the current situation, and their implications for policymaking.

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