Bounty From Uncle Sam

Big farm producers harvest a bumper crop of federal funds

The word welfare usually calls up images of broken families in hard-pressed city neighborhoods. But controversial provisions of the Food Security Act of 1985, the farm bill passed by Congress last December, have given new meaning to the term. Even as thousands of farmers struggle to make ends meet, some affluent growers will reap multimillion-dollar federal subsidies for this year's crops. These farmers, says Robert Thompson, Assistant Agriculture Secretary for Economics, "may get looked upon as the welfare queens of 1987."

J.G. Boswell, a California company that is one of the largest U.S. producers of cotton, may collect nearly $20 million...

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