Double Dippers

How Big Ag Taps Into Taxpayers' Pockets - Twice

August 3, 2005

Double Dippers: Methodology

We identified double dippers by matching up the name and address fields within our water subsidies and farm subsidies databases. To be conservative, we counted only those farms with exact address matches and only those that received at least 5 acre-feet of CVP water in 2002. We determined two sets of double dippers: (1) farms that received both water subsidies and crop subsidies in 2002, and (2) farms that received water subsidies in 2002 and crop subsidies for at least one year between 1995 and 2004.

Crop subsidies were calculated by adding up all the different types of farm subsidy payments that the double dipper received in a given year according to US Department of Agriculture records. This included commodity programs, conservation programs and disaster programs. See for more information on these different types of farm subsidies, the farm subsidy program in general, and how we obtained this information.

Water subsidies were calculated by taking the estimated subsidy at the "replacement water rate" as determined by EWG in our 2004 report "California Water Subsidies". This report combined pesticide use records with accepted crop/water use ratios and financial data from the US Bureau of Reclamation to estimate water subsidies for every farm in the Central Valley Project.