Unlimited crop insurance subsidies cost the taxpayer billions of dollars a year and overwhelmingly flow to the largest and most successful farm businesses. Unlike other farm subsidies, crop insurance subsidies are not subject to means testing or payment limits. While some farms annually collect more than $1 million in crop insurance premium support, the bottom 80% of policyholders annually collect about $5,000.
The head of the crop insurance industry's trade group is objecting to an EWG analysis that found that crop insurance companies could easily absorb cuts to their taxpayer-guaranteed rate of return. But a study commissioned by his own organization shows just how well crop insurance companies are doing.
A back-room deal to restore crop insurance companies' sky-high guaranteed rate of return won't stand if Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has anything to say about it.
The decision by Congress to cut the government-guaranteed profits of crop insurance giants will not “cripple” the industry, as some crop insurance companies claim. Contrary to industry complaints, the companies that benefit from the heavily subsidized federal crop insurance program make huge profits, pay their top executives millions of dollars annually and can easily afford to pull in their belts, according to a new analysis and interactive map by EWG.Read More
The congressional budget deal signed by President Obama in early November includes a cost-saving measure that trims the profits taxpayers guarantee the crop insurance industry. The guaranteed rate of return of these companies would drop from 14.5 percent to 8.9 percent, saving $3 billion over the next 10 years.Read More
Legislation introduced in Congress today would ease the burden placed on taxpayers and the environment by the bloated federal crop insurance program, according to the Environmental Working Group.Read More
Crop insurance has come under attack for its increasing cost, environmental harm and secrecy. The farm lobby, the crop insurance industry and their political patrons push back by claiming that despite its flaws, at least the federal crop insurance program is better than the ad hoc disaster programs it replaced.
EWG’s new analysis found that the federal crop insurance program is much more costly to taxpayers and more harmful to the environment than the disaster payment program it has largely replaced. EWG analyzed crop insurance and ad hoc disaster payment data and reviewed scientific and economic studies of the two approaches to farm assistance, and found:Read More
When you buy home or car insurance, you expect to collect only when there’s a disaster – a tornado, a hailstorm or a collision. If there was a policy that paid out year after year, you only had to pay less than half of the premium and you’d actually make money from buying it, you’d jump at it – but the insurer would be foolish.Read More
Here is a joint statement from John Boyd, president of the National Black Farmers Association, and Scott Faber, vice president of government affairs of EWG, on a critical crop insurance reform included in the budget deal the House will consider today.Read More
Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) will oppose a budget deal because $3 billion in savings come at the expense of giant crop insurance companies. In his statement, Rep. Cramer called a proposal to limit windfall profits for insurance companies like Wells Fargo “Obamacare” of crop insurance.
The savings to taxpayers from the so-called reform of federal farm subsidies are turning out to be mythical – while cuts to programs to help farmers protect the environment are all too real.
The House Appropriations Committee today passed an agriculture appropriations bill that destroys critical environmental protections while leaving the lavish and wasteful federal crop insurance program unchecked, costing taxpayers billions of dollars, according to EWG.Read More
An article in the May 27 edition of Harvest Public Media, an online news outlet devoted to news about agriculture, amounts to first-hand evidence of the destruction of the iconic Prairie Pothole Region – an oasis of grassland and wetlands in North America.Read More
A new EWG report released this week pulls back the curtain on the billions of taxpayer dollars that get wasted every year through the “prevented planting” federal crop insurance program that encourages growers to plow up ecologically important wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region of North and South Dakota.
The so-called “prevented planting” component of the federal crop insurance program is wasting billions of dollars while encouraging growers to plow up wildlife-sustaining wetlands in the iconic Prairie Pothole Region of North and South Dakota.Read More
A new EWG report reveals that from 2000 to 2013 a total of $4.4 billion in federal “prevented planting” crop insurance payouts went to farmers in 94 counties in the iconic Prairie Pothole Region of North and South Dakota – despite attempts by the government to rein in the program’s costs.Read More
The 2014 farm bill will prove to be the most expensive ever thanks to new subsidies Congress added on top of the already costly crop insurance program, researchers at the University of Missouri said in an analysis released this week.