Why do some farmers get paid not to grow things?

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expand Farm program payments are a public investment in the nations food, environmental and economic security. While more than a decade ago, the structure of some farm programs may have paid farmers who werent producing, todays farm payment programs are based upon production, revenue and sound principles. They provide support to farmers when the markets/prices crash, and even those payments are very limited. Farmers are also compensated if they are willing to set aside productive agricultural land in favor of conservation practices that are for the benefit of all of society through improved soil, water and air quality. Such an example would include increasing grassland and natural growth around the perimeter of creeks and streams to prevent erosion and runoff from fields, and provide habitat for wildlife. The majority of farm payments go to family farm operations, and provide a measure of stability in a business where uncontrollable weather, unfair competition and uncertain market ... more
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