The government provides agricultural subsidies — monetary payments and other types of support — to farmers or agribusinesses. While some subsidies are given to promote specific farming practices, others focus on research and development, conservation practices, disaster aid, marketing, nutrition assistance, risk mitigation, and more.
On this page, find legislation, USDA programs, historical information, data, and other pertinent resources.
Economic Research Service
Publications, data, graphs, and FAQs on U.S. agricultural policy, Farm Bill provisions, risk management, and other topics.
USDA Price Support
Links to USDA programs and forms, rate information, notices and regulations, and price reports.
Tools, contacts, and information on USDA programs and resources pertinent to USDA loans, disaster assistance, risk management, conservation, and more.
External Links Relevant for Agricultural Subsidies
2018 Farm Bill (farmers.gov)
Information, brochures, and tools for farmers, ranchers, and forest managers describing available USDA programs on conservation, disaster assistance, farm production, loans, risk management, and more.
USDA Farm Service Agency
FSA provides access to capital to fund agricultural operations, risk mitigation assistance, disaster recovery resources, and other programs and services for agricultural businesses.
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
NRCS provides funding and technical assistance to help landowners and agricultural producers implement conservation practices to improve their land.
USDA Risk Management Agency
RMA assists agricultural producers obtain and utilize tools to manage farm risk, including Federal crop insurance policies for crops and livestock in the United States.
Access to Research Articles
Historical, Legislative and Data Resources
Farm Bill Primer: What is the Farm Bill? (congress.gov) (PDF | 578KB)
Defines the Farm Bill, provides budget data, and describes the 12 farm and commodity programs under the 2018 Farm Bill.
Farmers' Guide to Farm Bill Programs (rma.usda.gov)
Describes assistance for farmers, ranchers, and forest managers available through the 2018 Farm Bill.
United States Farm Bills (nationalaglawcenter.org)
Links to full text Farm Bill legislation (1933-2018), historical farm legislation, and related documents.
- Agricultural policy reform: new approaches: the role of direct income payments. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 1994. NAL call number: HD1415.A318 1994.
- American agriculture in the twentieth century: how it flourished and what it cost. Gardner, Bruce L. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002. NAL call number: HD1761.G2447 2002.
- A billion dollars a day: the economics and politics of agricultural subsidies. Peterson, E. Wesley F. Malden. NAL call number: HD1415.P48 2009. [NOTE: See Chapter 6: "U.S. Agricultural Policy: How Not to Save the Family Farm."]
- The effects of premium subsidies on demand for crop insurance. O'Donoghue, Erik J. NAL call number: aHG9968.O36 2014.
- Farm payment programs: analyses & reduction proposals. Oddosh, Robert and Chris Vinova, eds. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science ; Lancaster: Gazelle [distributor], 2013. NAL call number: HD1415.F38 2013.
- Food, farming, and sustainability: readings in agricultural law. Schneider, Susan A. Economic support to agriculture: the federal farm programs, federal crop insurance, and disaster assistance. NAL call number: KF1682.S36 2016.
- Handbook of agricultural economics. Gardner, Bruce L. and Gordon C. Rausser, eds. Amsterdam ; NY: Elsevier, 2001. NAL call number: HD1415.H313 2001.