January 19, 2020

Farm Bill and Policy Issues; and, Trade

Categories: Farm Bill /Trade

Farm Bill: Crop Insurance

Georgina Gustin reported today at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Online that, “As lawmakers prepare to hash out details of the $970 billion Farm Bill — the sprawling legislation that sets the agenda for the nation’s food and farming policy — a report issued Thursday says taxpayers are paying billions to protect profitable farms and crop insurance companies.”

“The group’s [The Washington-based Environmental Working Group (EWG), a group critical of farm subsidies] analysis was based on more than 1 million government records, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act,” the article said.

Today’s article noted that, “The group’s analysis found that agriculture’s largest policyholders get the bulk of the taxpayer-funded subsidies for crop insurance, while the bottom 80 percent get a little more than $5,000 each.”

David Rogers reported yesterday at Politico on the EWG report and pointed out that, “Corn, soybeans, wheat and cotton are among the leading beneficiaries, just as they dominate American agriculture. At the same time, fruit and vegetable growers, which account for about one-fifth of farm receipts, are disproportionately represented since their crops tend to be high priced and therefore more likely subject to higher premiums.

Potatoes, tomatoes, apples, onions and grapes accounted for 36 percent of the high-end subsidies over $1 million, which carried some irony since environmentalists have long favored such specialty crops.”