A Spatial Analysis of Farm Payment Recipients Using the FSA 1614 Dataset
Michael Brady and Vince Breneman*
We report results from preliminary analysis of the recently constructed dataset from the
Farm Service Agency, FSA 1614. FSA 1614 provides the location of the farm and the
farm payment recipient for all Title I payments. This makes it possible to analyze the
spatial dispersion between landowner and farm more precisely than previously possible.
A discussion of what research questions could be informed through the use of this data is
provided. We find that a significant percentage of payments are sent to individuals that
are likely to be absentee landowners, although this value is much smaller when looking at
the total value of payments. These national results are compared to four corn belt states.
Selected Paper prepared for presentation at the American Agricultural Economics
Association Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, July 27-29, 2008.
* Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1800 M Street, NW,
Washington DC, 20036. Please do not cite, reproduce, or distribute without permission
of the authors. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily
correspond to the views or policies of the Economic Research Service or the U.S.
Department of Agriculture.
Approximately half of all farmland in the U.S. is leased (ERS, 2003)1. This has
important implications for how labor, land, and capital are brought together to produce
this country’s food and fiber. Landlords contribute more than 30% of all farm assets,
which are almost exclusively in land and buildings2. Many landowners, or landlords, do
not live on the farm, which can affect a number of aspects of the production process. For
instance, do absentee landlords use cash rent contracts more often than share contracts?
Is a large portion of the ethanol tax credit likely to be capture