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Policy Plate BLOG

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Newly Released Farm Subsidy Database Tracks Bloated Crop Insurance Subsidies

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

EWG’s 2013 Farm Subsidy Database, launched today, documents that free-spending federal crop insurance subsidies are badly in need of reform.

The new data detail $292.5 billion in subsidies paid from 1995 through 2012, including $53.6 billion in crop insurance subsidies.

Crop insurance costs have reached an all-time high and overwhelmingly flow to the largest and most successful farm businesses. The data reveal that the top 1 percent of recipients haul in more than $220,000 in support per year while the bottom 80 percent get only about $5,000. Some very large farm businesses receive more than $1 million in insurance subsidies.

The data also show that the lion’s share of crop insurance support goes to beneficiaries in a handful of states. Farmers in some Midwestern and Southern states have received more than $5 billion in crop insurance subsidies since 1995, while those in most other states have taken in less than $1 billion.

What’s worse, Congress has prohibited the federal government from disclosing which farm businesses receive crop insurance premium subsidies. As a result, taxpayers and policymakers are in the dark.

Common-sense reforms (read more here) -- including payment limits, means testing and greater disclosure requirements -- would strengthen the crop insurance program.  

Table Scraps:

Today Sens. Shaheen, Toomey, Begich and Flake will offer crop insurance reform amendments to the 2013 farm bill. A press conference is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. EST in S-325.

Tweet of the Day:

@EWGFoodnews @RepFincherTN08 Loves Government Handouts, Just Not for the Poor via @NashvilleScene http://www.nashvillescene.com/pitw/archives/2013/05/22/stephen-fincher-loves-government-handouts-just-not-for-the-poor

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