Was the Agricultural Adjustment Act Successful?

The Agricultural Adjustment Act was fairly successful from a strictly financial perspective, providing $1,500,000,000 in benefit payments to farmers. However, widespread droughts from 1933 to 1936 affected one of the main goals of the program, which was to stabilize commodity prices. The Supreme Court declared the Agricultural Adjustment Act to be unconstitutional in 1936, and the program was replaced by a different initiative two years later.

The Agriculture Adjustment Act was one of the first New Deal programs. This act officially declared that Congress was responsible for balancing the supply and demand of certain commodities. Seven specific commodities produced by farmers were controlled under the act, including corn, wheat, cotton, rice, peanuts, tobacco and milk. The primary goal of the Agricultural Adjustment Act was to decrease the surplus of these commodities, which would raise prices and stabilize the farming industry.

To do this, the government offered farmers payments not to plant these crops or to limit the production of the crops. Although the act was short lived, the Agricultural Adjustment Act established the trend of balancing supply and demand in farming by limiting the production of certain commodities. In this sense, the act was very successful and revolutionized how the farming industry operated in the following decades.