Food Security Act of 1985

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P.L. 99-198 (December 23, 1985), a 5-year omnibus farm bill, allowed lower commodity price and income supports and established a dairy herd buyout program. Changes were made in a variety of other USDA programs. Several enduring conservation program were created, including sodbuster, swampbuster, and the Conservation Reserve Program. Shortly after enactment, the Technical Corrections to Food Security Act of 1985 Amendments (P.L. 99-253, February 28, 1986) gave USDA discretion to require cross-compliance for wheat and feed grains instead of mandating them, changed acreage base calculations, and specified election procedures for local Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation committees. Technical changes and other modifications were enacted by the Food Security Improvements Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-260, March 20, 1986), including limiting the non-program crops that could be planted under the 50/92 provision, permitting haying and grazing on diverted wheat and feed grain acreage for a limited period in regions of distress, and increasing deductions taken from the price of milk received by producers to fund the dairy termination program (also called the whole herd buyout) program. Again in 1986, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (P.L. 99-509) made changes in the 1985 Act requiring advance deficiency payments to be made to producers of 1987 wheat, feed grains, upland cotton, and rice crops at a minimum of 40% for wheat and feed grains and 30% for rice and upland cotton. The 1985 Act also amended the Farm Credit Act of 1971. Further commodity program changes were made in the FY1987 agricultural appropriations bill (P.L. 99-591, October 30, 1986). In addition to its funding provisions, P.L. 99-591 set the annual payment limitation at $50,000 per person for deficiency and paid land diversion payments, and included honey, resource adjustment (excluding land diversion), disaster, and Findley payments under a $250,000 aggregate payment limitation. Once again, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (P.L. 100-203) not only set the 1988 fiscal year budget for agriculture and all federal agencies, but also set target prices for 1988 and 1989 program crops, established loan rates for program and non-program crops, and required a voluntary paid land diversion for feed grains. P.L. 100-203 further defined who could receive farm program payments by defining a "person" in terms of payment limitations.

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