AFA Data Sources & Attributing Subsidies

We’re often asked, “What are AFA’s Sources?”

Here’s a listing of many of our sources, beginning with examples of documents you can find from the our own government agencies.

Government Agencies


Otherwise knows as the Library of Congress, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) works exclusively for the United States Congress, providing policy and legal analysis to committees and Members of both the House and Senate, regardless of party affiliation.

CRS: The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) In Brief (updated Jan 14, 2021)


The U.S. Government Accountability Office is the organization that members of Congress request research from. It’s considered to be highly objective. The tagline of the GAO is “A Century of Non-Partisan Fact-Based Work.”

GAO: USDA Market Facilitation Program: Information on Payments for 2019


The Environmental Protection Agency’s mission is to protect human health and the environment.

EPA Inventory of U.S. GHG Emissions & Sinks Ch5 1990-2019: Agriculture (updated 2021

EPA Inventory of Greenhouse Gases, Ch5 Agriculture: 2019 edition


The mission of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service is to anticipate trends and emerging issues in agriculture, food, the environment, and rural America and to conduct high-quality, objective economic research to inform and enhance public and private decision-making.

USDA Budget Summaries FY2020, FY2019


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agriculture Statistics Services (NASS) publishes well, ag statistics. If there’s an ag statistic you want, you’re likely to find it in the Annual Agricultural Statistics PDF documents published annually.

USDA NASS Annual Agricultural Statistics

USDA NASS Annual Cold Storage Report


Since 1975, the Congressional Budget Office has produced independent analyses of budgetary and economic issues to support the Congressional budget process. Each year, the agency’s economists and budget analysts produce dozens of reports and hundreds of cost estimates for proposed legislation.

CBO is strictly nonpartisan; conducts objective, impartial analysis; and hires its employees solely on the basis of professional competence without regard to political affiliation. CBO does not make policy recommendations, and each report and cost estimate summarizes the methodology underlying the analysis. Learn more about CBO’s commitment to objectivity and transparency.

CBO Report: What if Crop Insurance Subsidies were Reduced?

National Agriculture Law Center

NALC Farm Bills page:

2020 Farm Subsidy, Bailout Top Level Numbers

Total Cash Payments ($46.3 billion)

Other Subsidies Not considered Direct Cash Payments

* Extrapolated & prorated from 2019 data until 2020 data is published

Subsidy Primers

USDA Slaughter Stats

USDA Stats

Supply, Demand, Stockpiles


Environmental Impact

Global Warming Potentials (CH4)
  • 10 year GWP 104x (with feedback effects 130x)
  • 20 year GWP 84x
  • 100 year GWP 28.5x
IPCC AR5 Ch8 Supplemental Material. (page 39)
The way to read these: “Over a ten year period, methane (CH4) warms the earth 104 times more the equivalent mass of CO2 over the same period.“

Subsidy Trackers

Environmental Working Group

Good Jobs First

Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM)

Governments Reports

Checkoff Programs

Lobbying & Campaign Contributions Lobbying and Campaign Contributions

The Farm Bill

Cambridge U. “Contextualizing the Farm Bill: questions of food, land and agricultural governance”

Supply Chain Transparency

Legal Violation Tracker

Nate Hagens Blindspots and Superheros

Nathan John Hagens is a former Wall Street analyst, turned college professor and systems-science advocate. Nate has an MBA with Honors from the University of Chicago and a PhD in Natural Resources/Energy from the University of Vermont. He is on the Boards of Post Carbon Institute, Institute for Integrated Economic Research, and Institute for the Study of Energy and our Future. He teaches a class at the University of Minnesota called "Reality 101 - A Survey of the Human Predicament”.