DAYTON — Despite robust income, crop farmers in 12 local counties received $34.7 million in federal subsidies last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Unlike "countercyclical" payments disbursed only in times of low crop prices, these subsidies, called "direct payments," are fixed and not tied to income. Rather, they're based on farmers' historic crop production.

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Direct payments were only a small fraction of farm income, which is forecast to average $167,840 this year for U.S. family farms with sales of at least $250,000. Those farms make up 8 percent of all family farms, but account for almost three-fourths of income from farm sources.

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