The trend of federal farm subsidies increasingly favoring larger operations over the smaller family holdings has been accelerated this year by relief measures intended to blunt the impact of the spread of the novel coronavirus, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Of nearly $5 billion paid by the government to farms in a COVID-19 program, nearly one-quarter, or more than $1.2 billion, went to fewer than 1% of the recipients, according to the Journal.
Those payments made between late May to late June averaged $311,000, while an average $12,000 was paid to about 75% of the recipients.
The Journal attributed the differences to the shifts in the agriculture industry, where larger farms are increasingly producing a bigger percentage of the country's goods.
The federal government is expected to subsidize the agriculture industry with as much as $37 billion this year.
"The way farming is going, you can't do it small, you've got to have land," the Journal quoted Clint Gorden, 24, who grows corn and soybeans on a small 600-acre farm in central Illinois.
In the first half of the 1900s, farms raised a mix of crops with livestock on a few hundred acres. That has changed to one or two crops with only 10% of farms having animals.
Large and midsize farms comprise 10% of American farms, which include 52% of the country's farmland and generate 79% of the production, the Journal reported, quoting U.S. Agriculture Department chief economist Robert Johansson.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.