The debate over farm subsidies will be a major issue during consideration of the 2007 farm bill. One of the interesting studies by the Environmental Working Group is that just 22 of the 435 congressional districts collected more than half of all farm subsidies during the past 10 years.

The study also found that 47 districts received 70% of the farm bill payments during the same period. USDA Secretary Mike Johanns continues to remind Congress and the public that 3% of farms receive 30% of the support, and 92% of commodity program payments go to five crops.

The top 22 Congressional districts in order of farm payments are: North Dakota - At Large, Kansas - 1, Nebraska - 3, South Dakota - At Large, Arkansas - 1, Minnesota - 7, Iowa - 4, Iowa - 5, Texas - 19, Montana - At Large, Minnesota - 1, Mississippi - 2, Texas - 13, Oklahoma - 3, Nebraska - 1, Illinois - 15, Illinois - 19, Colorado - 18, California - 2, Georgia - 2, Louisiana - 5, Illinois - 18, Iowa - 1, Missouri - 8, and Iowa - 3.

BEEF magazine recently published a map indicating to what degree ag-land values in the 48 contiguous states would be affected if government support payments were halted. Read Mike Fritz's article, "Where Government Payments Matter Most," at: beef-mag.com/mag/beef_government_payments_matter/.