Lack of consistent agricultural policies

(Ref. 310)
Problem Components
Policy issue area: Economics
Policy issue: Agriculture
Description: Vacillating policies between extremes of full production for foreign markets, and crop control and subsidies to maintain farming incomes.
Symptoms: Severe fluctuations in farmers' incomes; growing surpluses; squeezing out small farms; soil erosion.
Causes: High production costs; low commodity prices; mismanagement of farm policies.
Cost of problem: -
Solution Components
Resources: Agricultural research institutes; Federal and state governments; family farmers.
Goal: 1. Assure a stable, plentiful and affordable food supply
2. Bolster family farming as a way of life and as an economic underpinning of agriculture.
Program area: Rural development
Program-remedy: 1. Better coordination of our economic needs with the farm subsidy program
2. Revive government to government barter programs to increase farm exports to developing countries
3. Farm export promotion by reducing trade barriers.
Program-prevent: 1. Soil and water conservation
2. Agricultural research and development, including the shift of emphasis from increasing crop yields to developing new agricultural products
3. Stimulating world economic development, to create new customers for American farm products.
Cost of program: -
Beneficiaries: Family farmers; rural business; consumers.

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