Dan Morgan, Sarah Cohen and Gilbert M. Gaul of The Washington Post analyzed payment records from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in an investigative series. People who don't farm at all have received $1.3 billion in government handouts since 2000, the investigation found.
They also found that growers reaped benefits even in good years from a USDA program. "The subsidy is called the loan deficiency payment." "It is just cash paid to farmers when market prices dip below the government-set minimum, or floor, if only for a single day." Most of the money went to farmers who sold at higher prices. The LDP had become so ingrained in farmland finances that farmers sometimes wish for market prices to drop so they can capture a larger subsidy.