The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office released a report Monday showing Market Facilitation Payments did favor certain farmers.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the Senate Ag Committee, requested the report back in February.
“It found deep regional inequities with southern farmers benefitting significantly more compared to other regions,” she said. “Eight of the nine top states with the highest payments per acre were in the South, and on average southern farmers received higher payments compared to individual farmers in any other region.”
Midwestern states received more dollars in total than the south because there are more individual farms in the Midwest than the South.
“Whether or not farmers break even or go into debt is not based on how much their state receives as a whole,” said Stabenow. “All farmers’ profitability and viability is based on how much they are getting per acre on their individual farm.”
Less than 10 percent of the payments went to farms that produced specialty crops, dairy or hogs. Stabenow also said that USDA’s approach to MFP significantly benefited large farms over smaller farms.
“The USDA doubled the maximum payment that farmers could receive beyond the Farm Bill and put in place $125,000 per farmer being eligible to receive payment, but did nothing to help small and beginning farmers,” she added. “The top 1.3 percent of payment recipients received an additional $519 million.”
The full report can be found here.