An AP investigation has found that the vast majority of vegetable and fruit grown in North America is grown on farmland owned by big farmers, even though those farms use a lot of land.
The AP’s investigation found that a vast majority — 91.4 percent — of all the plants grown in the United States were grown on private property.
A total of 6,938 farms, including 1,827 on private land, were the subject of AP analysis of crop-registration forms that showed they received more than $5 billion in federal subsidies between 2010 and 2020.
Some of the farm-growing companies that receive subsidies are in some ways doing their part to help support farmers, while others, like the giant agribusiness companies Cargill and General Mills, use subsidies to push products that are mostly grown on public lands.
These subsidies are crucial to help farmers grow their crops.
However, the AP’s analysis also found that while the vast bulk of farms that received federal farm-aid subsidies have been farming on public land, the majority of those farms are privately owned.
Some farms that were listed as receiving $5.6 billion in farm-related subsidies between 2011 and 2020 received $12.4 billion in taxpayer subsidies, and the rest received $4.4 bn.
According to the Agriculture Department, private land is more valuable to farmers than public land because of its value as a water source and because it is more stable, while public land is less stable because of the higher amount of erosion and flooding that occur on it.
The vast majority (85.8 percent) of all USDA grants are tied to crops grown on USDA land.
While farmers are receiving some federal assistance, their benefits are concentrated in certain areas, and many are in rural areas.
For example, some farmers who receive federal subsidies have their farms in the state of Michigan and in other states.
And some farmers are getting the biggest benefits from subsidies because they have large operations in the heart of the Midwest, which often are in the farthest-flung areas of the country.
The average farmer in the country, according to USDA data, received $8,543 in farm assistance between 2011-2020.
About 60 percent of that money went to farm operations that received $2.2 billion in USDA farm aid.
The USDA, the nation’s agricultural agency, does not break out its data on where farmers get the vast vast majority, because it has not tracked all of those subsidies.
For instance, the USDA did not have data on the farms that had the most total farm- related subsidies, such as those that received over $2 billion.
In an emailed statement to the AP, a USDA spokesperson said: We use data on USDA-subsidized farm assistance to determine how much farm assistance we provide.
Our data is not available to the public.
The Associated Press asked the USDA for more information on the percentage of USDA farm-subsidy dollars going to farms in each state.
The spokesperson replied that “the USDA does not have any data on this, and we cannot provide additional information.”
A spokesman for the USDA, Eric Johnson, said the USDA does track the share of farm aid that goes to farmers on a state-by-state basis.
The amount of farm-assisted aid is determined by the USDA’s definition of agricultural support, Johnson said.
The majority of farm subsidies go to small farmers, farmers that produce about 1 percent of the nation, he said.
For that group, farmers have to pay more than the federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 an hour.
“For these farmers, there is no benefit,” Johnson said, adding that most farmers are not in the best position to compete for farm aid given that many are small-scale farmers.
“If you have a small farm, you are competing with the largest and the most well-connected and that is not the case in this country.”
The USDA did publish data on farm-support payments by state, but it was based on a “preliminary analysis” that was based largely on data from states that are part of the USDA food-assistance program.
Johnson said he did not know whether the USDA would release the data.
The Department of Agriculture has a list of farms on its website that receive farm-assist payments and also offers a link to the USDA database for more detailed data.
That data, though, does have a limit, as it does not include any farms that receive more than a million dollars in payments per year.
It is also unclear how many of the farms on that list have received a total of more than 5 million dollars of USDA payments.
Johnson did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
“There is no question that the bulk of our food support is going to be in these farm-backed organizations,” Johnson told the AP.
“And it’s a problem.
And there are many of these farms that don’t have a lot, and they don’t get the help they need.”
AP writer Matt Viser