EWG’s renowned farm subsidy database reveals that taxpayer support goes mostly to large, profitable operations, not to sustainable family farms that truly need the help. We’re working to change a badly broken system.
The Latest on Subsidies
The Bloomberg News editorial board published a humdinger of an editorial today criticizing the Senate Agriculture committee’s farm bill. An excerpt: "In place of fixed payments the committee added a new subsidy in the form of expanded crop insurance. Why this was needed is hard to fathom, because existing crop-insurance programs will cost taxpayers as much as $90 billion in the coming decade, according to the Congressional Research Service."Read More
Two newspapers in farm country editorialized on the Senate Agriculture Committee’s farm bill today. First, an excerpt from The Wisconsin State Journal’s “Better farm bill not good enough:” "But more scrutiny is needed of expanded insurance subsidies. Many growers already get heavily subsidized crop insurance. Now they could be protected against modest declines in yield or prices."Read More
Kari Hamerschlag, senior food and agriculture analyst at the Environmental Working Group breaks down just how bad the Senate Agriculture Committee version of the farm bill is for the good food movement. Hamerschlag writes: "The farm bill draft released by the Senate Agriculture Committee last week (April 20) falls far short of providing farm and food policies Americans want."Read More
The farm bill draft released by the Senate Agriculture Committee last week (April 20) falls far short of providing farm and food policies Americans want. In a national poll last year, 78 percent said making nutritious and healthy foods more affordable and accessible should be a top priority in the farm bill. They’re going to be sorely disappointed.Read More
Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook and senior food and agriculture analyst Kari Hamerschlag penned an op-ed in Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle: "If you believe the government ought to play an aggressive role in the nation's economic life, admit it: You're a liberal. But you're probably not as liberal as the average Republican member of the House Agriculture Committee."Read More
Senate Agriculture Committee leaders are calling the 2012 farm bill proposal the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012. A farm bill that cuts programs for the hungry and the environment to help finance a new entitlement program and unlimited insurance subsidies for the largest and most profitable farm operations doesn’t deserve to be called any kind of “reform.”Read More
Statement of Craig Cox, Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources of the Environmental Working Group, on the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012:Read More
Statement of Craig Cox, Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources of the Environmental Working Group, on the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012: “A farm bill that cuts programs for the hungry and the environment to help finance a new entitlement program and unlimited insurance subsidies for the largest and most profitable farm operations should not be called a ‘reform’ bill."Read More
Environmental Working Group released maps that highlight how expanding crop production is driving the loss of prairie grasslands and wetlands, particularly in the “prairie pothole” region of North and South Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa. The maps were compiled using data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.Read More
Chris Clayton, policy editor at Progressive Farmer/DTN, examines the curious position being taken by industrial agriculture’s lobbyists. They claim that farmers are doing all they can to protect the environment, but at the same time the lobbyists resist even modest attempts to require minimal conservation efforts in exchange for new farm subsidies.Read More
High crop prices combined with unlimited insurance subsidies are contributing to the rapid loss of wetlands and prairie grasslands in the “prairie pothole” region of North and South Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa.Read More
The imbalanced 900-page farm bill released by the Senate agriculture committee needlessly sacrifices conservation program funding to finance unlimited insurance subsidies and a new entitlement program for the largest and most profitable agribusinesses.Read More
Craig Cox, Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Environmental Working Group, offered this initial take on the just released Senate Agriculture Committee’s 2012 farm bill. “The 2012 farm bill should do more to support family farmers, protect the environment, promote healthy diets and support working families. Unfortunately, the bill produced today by the Senate Agriculture Committee will do more harm than good. It needlessly sacrifices conservation and feeding assistance programs to finance unlimited insurance subsidies and a new entitlement program for highly profitable farm businesses.Read More
The Environmental Working Group released a report (PDF) today (April 18) that shows that an EWG proposal to reform the costly federal crop insurance program through the 2012 farm bill could save taxpayers up to $18.5 billion over 10 years while delivering a reliable safety net to American farmers.Read More
The Environmental Working Group released its 2012 farm bill platform today. We believe that Congress should enact farm and food policy legislation that: provides producers with an effective safety net at a lower cost to taxpayers; creates new markets for farm products; invests in conservation and nutrition programs that benefit all farmers and consumers; promotes greater consumption of fruits and vegetables; and meets the nation’s deficit reduction goals.Read More
As Congress gets to work again in 2013 on renewing the farm bill, it has the opportunity to do more to support family farmers, protect the environment and encourage healthy diets, while ending wasteful and unnecessary subsidy payments that flow to profitable growers and the crop insurance industry. Here is the farm bill platform EWG announced early in 2013.Read More
This year’s effort to renew America’s food and farm policy through the farm bill creates an opportunity for Congress to do more to support family farmers, protect the environment, encourage healthy diets and ensure better access to healthy food – all while supporting working families.Read More
Environmental Working Group’s new report Troubled Waters has laid out three ways the 2012 federal farm bill can protect drinking water from farm chemicals run-off. Congress should:
- End direct payments, reduce farm insurance subsidies and block any new entitlement programs that encourage all-out production and hurt the environment.
- Renew the conservation compact that requires farmers receiving taxpayer-funded support to carry out basic conservation practices.
- Provide adequate funding for conservation programs in order to reward farmers who take steps to protect water.