USDA Gives Millions to Farmers Who Aren’t Actually Farming

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has doled out millions of dollars in subsidies to farms on which farming isn’t actually taking place, according a new report from government watchdogs. Billions more have gone towards supporting farms that don’t grow the crops for which they’re being subsidized.

USDA gave nearly $3 million last year to 2,327 farms that had not grown any crops since 2006, according to the report, released last week by the Government Accountability Office. Of those farms, 622 had not grown any crops since 2001.

According to GAO’s analysis,

about 2,300 farms, or about 0.15 percent of the 1.6 million farms receiving direct payments in 2011, reported all their land as “fallow,” that is, producers did not plant any crops of any type on this land, for each year of the last 5 years (i.e., 2007 through 2011), as allowed under the farm bill. These producers received a total of about $2.9 million in direct payments in 2011…

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