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The 2002 Farm Act: Provisions and Implications for Commodity Markets

by Paul Westcott, Edwin Young, and Michael Price

Agriculture Information Bulletin No. (AIB-778) 67 pp, November 2002

The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (2002 Farm Act), which governs agricultural programs through 2007, was signed into law in May 2002. This report presents an initial evaluation of the new legislation's effects on agricultural commodity markets, based on sectorwide model simulations under alternative policy assumptions. The analysis shows that loan rate changes under the marketing assistance loan program of the 2002 Farm Act initially result in an increase in total planted acreage of eight major program crops. This increase in plantings, however, is relatively small (less than 1 percent), partly due to the inelasticity of acreage response in the sector. In the longer run, the simulations indicate that overall plantings of the eight program crops studied are lower under the 2002 Farm Act than under a continuation of the 1996 Farm Act. This result mostly reflects larger enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program and increased plantings of dry peas and lentils, although planted acreage for the eight program crops is reduced by less than 0.6 percent. The effects of the 2002 Farm Act on the livestock sector and retail food prices are relatively small. Farm income is increased, mostly due to higher government payments to the sector under the new law.

Keywords: Farm legislation, 2002 Farm Act, agricultural programs, commodity programs, marketing loans, counter-cyclical payments, direct payments, planting flexibility, base acres, payment yields, farm income, risk management, FAPSIM

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Last updated: Friday, August 23, 2013

For more information contact: Paul Westcott, Edwin Young, and Michael Price

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