Sign up to receive email updates, action alerts, health tips, promotions to support our work and more from EWG. You can opt-out at any time. [Privacy]

 

Chapter 3. Upland Cotton Deficiency Payments

The Cash Croppers: Farm Subsidies 1985-1994: Chapter 3. Upland Cotton Deficiency Payments

September 2, 1995

Recipient Category: All Recipients

Just over 202,000 recipients received $8.78 billion in upland cotton deficiency program payments between 1985 and 1994. But the top 2 percent of those recipients--just over 4,000--got a staggering 22.6 percent of the cotton deficiency payments ($1.99 billion). These top recipients averaged nearly a half million dollars ($491,861) each in cotton deficiency payments over the decade. The top cotton deficiency payment recipients got more from taxpayers in one year than the average cotton deficiency payment recipient got in 10. Upland cotton deficiency subsidies have become increasingly concentrated over time: the top 2 percent of recipients were paid just 12.8 percent of the total upland cotton deficiency subsidies in 1985, but were paid between 28.5 percent and 33.1 percent of total upland cotton deficiency payments from 1990 through 1994.

 

Recipient Category: Individuals

Nearly 150,000 individuals received upland cotton deficiency payments totaling more than $5.5 billion from 1985 through 1994. The top 2 percent of these individuals, however, received more than $1 billion of this total, or 18.4 percent of all subsidies over the 10 year period. These top individuals received an average of $341,715 in subsidy payments over 10 years, more than 9 times the amount paid to the average recipient of upland cotton deficiency subsidies. They also participated in the programs more often (9.8 years of 10, as compared with 5.8 years of 10 for the average recipient) and got more than 5 times as much per year of participation as the average recipient of upland cotton deficiency payments.

 

Recipient Category: Corporations With Stockholders

Nationwide, nearly 10,000 corporations were paid $783 million in upland cotton deficiency payments from 1985 through 1994. Of this total, almost $81 million was paid to the 192 corporations representing the top 2 percent of corporate upland cotton deficiency recipients. These top corporations participated in upland cotton subsidy programs nearly twice as often as the average corporation, and were paid an average of $421,093 over the last 10 years.

 

Recipient Category: General Partnerships

General partnerships accounted for $1.7 billion in upland cotton deficiency payments over the last decade. Just 216 of these partnerships received $288 million in upland cotton deficiency payments, or 16.5 percent of the total to general partnerships. The general partnerships among this top 2 percent averaged an astounding $1.3 million in upland cotton deficiency payments over 10 years, more than 8 times the amount paid to the average general partnership, and nearly 36 times the amount paid to the average individual recipient.

 

Recipient Category: Joint Ventures

Nationwide, 1,887 joint ventures received $191 million in upland cotton deficiency subsidies over the past 10 years. Just 38 of these joint ventures, representing the top 2 percent, received 23.9 percent of all upland cotton deficiency subsidies paid to joint ventures. These top 38 joint ventures averaged $1.2 million in upland cotton deficiency payments each, nearly 12 times the amount paid to the average joint venture.

 

Information About the Top 50 Recipients: Upland Cotton Payments

The top 50 recipients of upland cotton payments in the nation all were paid more than $1.8 million over 10 years. Only 7 states were represented among the top 50 recipients: California, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana and Texas. The top 50 individuals for upland cotton payments all were paid more than $580,000 over 10 years. Forty-six of these top individuals collected subsidies in each of the last 10 years.