Farm Loans Analysis

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Farm Loans Analysis

Functions and Responsibilities

The Farm Loan Analysis Group (FLAG) provides a broad range of analysis and program support to USDA policymakers. Within the Farm Service Agency (FSA), FLAG formulates, develops, analyzes, and evaluates national program policies and alternatives for commodity loan programs and for farm loan programs. Functions performed by FLAG include: 

  • Formulate, analyze, and evaluate county loan rates for the marketing assistance loan and loan deficiency payment programs for wheat (5 classes), feed grains, and oilseeds.
  • Serve as FSA's primary resource for the economic analysis and evaluation of FSA's farm loan programs, including direct and guaranteed loans made to farmers and ranchers.
  • Prepare risk assessments and cost/benefit analyses of major rules proposed by the Agency that affect farm loan programs and commodity loan programs.
  • Conduct analyses of the projected impacts of payment limitation proposals and track the distribution of program benefits among various political jurisdictions, such as States and congressional districts.
  • Prepare briefing papers and program summaries for questions concerning loan program provisions for the Under Secretary, Administrator, Office of General Counsel, and the Office of Program Planning and Development.
  • Develop and maintain working relationships with other Government agencies, universities, and other institutions by serving as a liaison in providing economic and statistical information and analyses.
  • Respond to congressional and public requests for loan program information and analyses.
  • Develop and maintain databases used in forecasting, analyzing, and summarizing policy decisions or proposals related to farm loan and commodity loan programs.
  • Monitor, analyze, and report on developments in farm financial and credit conditions and other areas of potential interest to policy officials.
  • Analyze and review legislative alternatives and proposals developed by the Department or introduced by Congress.


Wetlands constructed via the Iowa CREP prove cost effective at reducing nitrate loadings (May 2008)

Report to Congress: Evaluating the Relative Cost Effectiveness of the Farm Service Agency's Farm Loan Programs (August 2006)