There are plenty of loopholes in any legal honeycomb as complex as agriculture subsidies, but some of them are big enough to drive a tractor through. The USDA announced last week that one of the biggest, which had allowed non-farmers to claim financial support intended for farmers, will be closed in the proposed new Farm Bill.
The USDA has a variety of different programs in place to help farmers survive tough times; collectively, they’re known as the Farm Safety Net. The theory is pretty simple; farming is an essential part of the American economy, and yet its margins are razor thin, so thin that one bad year can wipe out dozens of farms, leaving the country distinctly worse off. Over the past few years, these programs have come under a substantial amount of scrutiny, and one major element of the proposed new Farm Bill will include a closing of one of the more egregious loopholes in the system.
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