This paper reviews some of the long history of farm programs, outlines often- proffered rationales for the programs, and discusses the correspondence of program rationales with the recent facts of American agriculture and the recent commodity programs. Finally, it considers some forces driving the 2007 Farm Bill, drawn from the history and rationales. The paper focuses on commodity programs. However, because environmental programs and some risk management concerns and approaches are closely related and important, the paper discusses some of these, as well. The paper deals with crop insurance or disaster programs only tangentially.

See PDF article here: Farm Subsidy Tradition and Modern Agricultural Realities by Daniel A. Sumner