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Agricultural subsidies emerged during the Depression as a result of continuing declines in agricultural prices following World War I as European economies recovered and had less need for U.S. agricultural exports. In 1933, Congress passed the Agricultural Adjustment Act (Pub. L. 73–10), which introduced price support programs and production adjustments. This statute made price supports mandatory for specific commodities such as corn, cotton, and wheat while also mandating subsidy payments to farmers through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC).

Subsequent decades have seen various revisions and amendments to this statute. The 1935 Agricultural Adjustment Act Amendment (Pub. L. 74–230) granted presidential authority to impose quotas when imports interfered with agricultural adjustment programs, and the 1938 Agricultural Adjustment Act (Pub. L. 75–430) allowed ...

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