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Farm Policy Myths and Facts

Myth:  Dairy’s safety net is on par with other commodity safety nets.

Fact:  The Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) most recent baseline projected annual farm-level cash receipts in the dairy sector at $39 billion - behind only the value of corn and soybeans.  Yet, a workable safety net for dairy is absent. For example, CBO projected outlays in dairy from 2018 to 2027 will total $749 million and the farm value of milk production during this time is $389 billion. The ratio of outlays to the farm value of milk production is less than one-quarter of one percent - far below assistance levels for other commodities. 

Myth: Farmers and ranchers already have more than a sufficient safety net.

Fact:  Farm bills should be written for the “bad times” rather than the “good times”.  Now is the time to ensure we have a robust safety net as most commodity prices are low and too many farmers are highly or extremely leveraged.

Myth:  Most farms are large, corporate farms rather than family farms.

Fact:   Family owned farms continue to be the backbone of the agriculture industry:
97 percent of the 2.1 million farms in the U.S. farms are family-owned operations and 88 percent of all farms are small family farms with less than $350,000 in gross cash farm income.

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