Government commodity payments continue to shift to larger farms, higher income households
As farm production has shifted to farms with larger sales, so, too, has the distribution of commodity-related program payments. And, because the average household income of farmers typically increases with farm sales, farm households with higher incomes are receiving a larger share of commodity program payments than in the past. For example, in 1991, half of commodity payments went to households with incomes over $54,940 in constant 2009 dollars (50th percentile) and a quarter of commodity payments went to farm households with incomes greater than $115,000 (75th percentile). By 2009, the distribution of payments had shifted upward considerably, with half of commodity payments going to households with incomes over $89,540 and a quarter going to farm households with incomes greater than $209,200. This chart is found in the March 2012 issue of Amber Waves magazine.
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