In the USA, demand for corn to fuel ethanol plants has boosted prices, and federal farm policies designed for an era of grain surpluses have kept millions of acres of farmland fallow. (USA Today)

U.S. agricultural policy—often simply called farm policy—generally follows a 5-year legislative cycle that produces a wide-ranging “Farm Bill.” (USDA)

I have seen farm policy several times. "Farm" here apparently is an attributive noun. Intuitively, it appears farming would be more apt as it refers to the act of agriculture, not simply an area of land/an establishment/a building. I googled farming policy and at least a great number of results appear to be from BrE sources.

Once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape future farming policy (Gov UK)

As we leave the EU, we have a historic opportunity to deliver a farming policy which works for the whole industry. (Gov UK)

At the same time it has allowed farmers to employ unecological ways of increasing production, such as the indiscriminate use of fertilisers and pesticides, with serious environmental consequences. However, a total re-focusing of the payment scheme in 2004 now puts the environment at the centre of farming policy. (Wikipedia article on an EU policy)

Labour has today set out new proposals for an overhaul of UK farming policy, including plans to reform post-Brexit subsidies in order to "move away from intensive factory farming and bad environmental practices". (Business Green)

Why is the noun farm used attributively in some texts over farming? Is it a BrE/AmE thing?

2 Answers 2


Both forms are correct depending on the context they're used in. Farming policy would refer to policy directly linked with the act of farming. Farm Policies refer to Policy sorrounding property where the farm is located.


Given your evidence I would have to say yes, since in both contexts the subject is government policy toward farms and farming. It might be helpful to call attention to the second paragraph you cite regarding the U.S. agricultural policy. There is a bill called the 'Farm Bill' which regularly comes up for discussion and renewal. The government policy that results from this bill is traditionally called 'Farm policy'. The term specifically refers to policies in that bill.

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