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.
Democrats in Iowa tried hard to turn Congress’ failure to pass a federal farm bill into a political liability for their Republican opponents. It didn’t work.Read More
With the elections finally behind us, Congress has returned to Washington to try to wrap up a slew of unfinished business. Among other things, lawmakers are grappling with how to revive the expired farm bill, while at the same time they must somehow address the looming “fiscal cliff” of higher taxes and crippling budget cuts that could drive the economy back into recession.Read More
The following op-ed appeared in the Des Moines Register on Monday, November 12, 2012.
It’s too late for Congress to pass a good farm bill this year. The coming lame duck session of the 112th Congress will have its hands full dealing with the “fiscal cliff” and should focus on issues that simply cannot wait.
The opening episode of the 4-hour epic that premieres on PBS on November 18 goes right to the cause of the problem. In a short time, farmers converted an area twice the size of New Jersey and centering in the Oklahoma Panhandle from native grassland to wheat fields. They did so because of a concerted policy in the 1920’s to industrialize agriculture and to “turn farming into a factory.” But the wind-swept prairie that dominated the region was unsuited for growing much, aside from drought- resistant grasses. Once farmers turned over the firm soil, they set the stage for a monumental disaster.Read More
With high crop prices, high land prices and guaranteed business income thanks to federal crop insurance, farm businesses are doing very well, thank you very much. The Bloomberg news service reports that during this Great Recession, farm earnings in Iowa and across the U.S. increased eight times faster than non-farm wages from 2008 to 2011. Actually, farm businesses have been doing nicely even longer than that. Farm household income has exceeded average household income every year since 1996.Read More
With only five legislative weeks left, Congress must vote to extend the farm bill, but it must do it in a way that reflects the nation’s spending priorities, supports family farmers and protects the environment.Read More
If there was one message from yesterday’s voting, it’s that taxpayers – regardless of party – are worried about the nation’s economy and finances.Read More
By now, every American is familiar with Mitt Romney’s suggestion that 47 percent of Americans are “victims” who are “dependent” on government assistance.Read More
Despite all the attention being paid to the farm bill by political candidates, the coming elections are not likely to be decided by agricultural policy positions. In the run-up to Election Day, you might think rural voters were looking for someone to blame for Congress’ failure to pass a farm bill.Read More
Compared to the billions that the government pays to subsidize industrial-scale growers of commodity crops such as corn, rice and soybeans, federal farm bill spending to promote cultivation and marketing of healthy fruits, nuts and vegetables is tiny. The Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) program is one of the more important programs to support these healthy foods, known also as “specialty crops”.Read More
Consumers are asking important and legitimate questions about what they are eating and feeding to their children.Read More
An important farm bill program that provides valuable support for California’s growers and consumers of healthy fruits, vegetables and nuts would deliver greater all-around benefits if state officials address shortcomings in the process of awarding the federally-funded grants, an analysis by the Environmental Working Group shows.Read More
Speaker Boehner was right to put a fork – a pitchfork – in one of the worst pieces of farm and food legislation in decades.Read More
Tomorrow (Wed., Sept. 12), lobbyists for subsidized agriculture will hold a rally on Capitol Hill to urge Congress to pass a farm bill – any farm bill, even the terrible one produced by the House Agriculture Committee.Read More
High crop prices and unlimited crop insurance subsidies contributed to the loss of more than 23 million acres of grassland, shrub land and wetlands between 2008 and 2011, wiping out habitat that sustains many species of birds and other animals and threatening the diversity of North America’s wildlife, new research by Environmental Working Group and Defenders of Wildlife shows.Read More
In the face of crippling drought across the Corn Belt, Congress is considering funding a disaster aid package with cuts to climate friendly conservation programs. Even as extreme drought wreaks havoc on crops and communities across the Midwest, government officials are now confident that they can link recent bouts of extreme weather to man-made climate change.Read More
The one-year extension of the farm bill likely to come up on the House floor this week would perpetuate funding for the worst aspects of American farm policy and would cut funding for the best.Read More
Although the future of the farm bill remains unclear, the leadership of the House of Representatives effectively rejected a proposal by the House Agriculture Committee that would have cut nutrition assistance and environmental programs to help finance lavish new subsidies for the largest farm businesses.Read More