Very little goes to actual farmers anymore. The commercial production people who actually feed the world, farmers and ranchers get very little of the total Farm Bill spending anymore.
And, many from both the left and the right of the political spectrum want to make it less. Have you noticed how the Environmental Working Group is now targeting crop insurance?
And, much of the conservation payments go to make permanent land retirement payments to people that do not actually farm. Or as I say rich white guys who like to hunt and fish and purchased their own little piece of paradise and are getting paid by the government to hunt and fish on their own property.
So look at the red portion of the pie chart above. Remember one does have to be destitute to receive food stamps. The budget will never be “balanced” unless one includes the 80% in the solution. The farming and ranching leadership many years ago to get the farm program spending they thought they needed at the time made an alliance with conservation groups and the food stamp lobby to pass Farm Program legislation. In many ways, many conservation groups have now split from the “deal”. I also am of the opinion that the food stamp lobby is going to go its own way also.
So where does that leave commercial production agriculture and the “safety” net that has been under agriculture since the mid eighties? or maybe a better question is “how are you positioning your farm for a future with less of a safety net?”