Evaluation of Policy Scenarios for the 1990 Farm Bill, An

Patrick C. Westhoff, Deborah L. Stephens, Michael D. Helmar, Brian L. Buhr, William H. Meyers
February 1990  [90-SR 42]

Download Full Text

Suggested citation:

Westhoff, P.C., D.L. Stephens, M.D. Helmar, B.L. Buhr, and W.H. Meyers. 1990. "Evaluation of Policy Scenarios for the 1990 Farm Bill, An." Staff report 90-SR 42. Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa State University.


Three alternatives for 1990 farm legislation are examined: (1) a continuation of current legislation; (2) small reductions in producer support levels that are phased in after a two-year delay; and (3) more significant policy reforms that include immediate support reductions for grains and cotton, marketing quotas for dairy products and sugar, and an expanded conservation reserve.

Analysis indicates that the alternatives to current policies reduce both government outlays on farm programs and net farm income. The effects on the supply, demand, and prices of most crop and livestock commodities are small. Marketing quotas protect sugar and dairy producer income and allow increased imports without significant budgetary effects, but at considerable cost to consumers.