Policy debates currently dominated by the budget have often focused on ag spending — specifically farm programs.

It is not difficult to find criticisms of farm programs and claims of their partisan motivations, and attacks against proposals which seem light on farm program spending cuts.

The relatively healthy ag economy and significant increase in farm income levels over the past few years are the most often argued points against the current design of farm programs, and have made it increasingly difficult to continue to justify the need to support and smooth farm incomes.

Nick Paulson and Gary Schnitkey, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois, take a look at ag spending in Putting agricultural spending into perspective.