AGES No. (AGES-8946) 64 pp

September 1989

Oats: Background for 1990 Farm Legislation

This report address considerations in the 1990 farm bill debate for oats, including market conditions, policy proposals, trade agreements, and the interactions between policy and markets for selected commodities. Oats acreage has trended downward since the 1950s. Domestic production has not met domestic needs, thereby spurring imports. Production has declined due, in part, to current Government programs. Oats have rapidly become a specialty feed mostly for race and pleasure horses. Human food consumption of oats, once a stable component of disappearance, has begun to grow. Exports have become very small. Price support loans have been available to oats producers since 1945. However, deficiency and diversion payments were not made to them until 1983. Program costs in fiscal year 1989 are estimated at $40 million, about 5 percent of the 1988 crop value.

Keywords: Production, domestic use, farm programs, farm returns, oats, prices, program effects, world trade

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