EWG: Farmers in 25 States Reap Up to $1 Million in Crop Insurance Subsidies

May 30, 2012 01:41 AM
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via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

Thursday conference call to release new info obtained via Freedom of Information Act

NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) will host a conference call at 11:00 am (EST) on Thursday, May 31, to unveil a new analysis showing that thousands of individual policyholders have received crop insurance premium subsidies ranging from $100,000 to more than $1 million apiece in the last year alone. Through the Freedom of Information Act, EWG analysts have, for the first time, obtained information about crop insurance policies and premium subsidies for individual policyholders in each state and county in the United States.

EWG will publish the number of policyholders receiving varying levels of premium subsidies in each state, along with some details about 26 operations that received more than $1 million in premium subsidies. Congress has barred the USDA's Risk Management Agency from disclosing the names of the policyholders.

Comments: The coming crop insurance data is likely timed, in part, ahead of coming Senate floor debate on a new farm bill, with expectations that some lawmakers may offer amendments that would cap crop insurance subsidies, a move most think will be defeated. Another possible amendment would be to make conservation compliance a requirement for garnering crop insurance payouts. The crop insurance sector will increasingly come under focus as it now pays out more than farm program payments. And, the coming new farm bill, whatever the timeframe, will bring forth some new subsidized provisions for crop insurance participants. And the sleeper program called Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) could well be very attractive to large-scale producers rather than the much hyped Ag Risk Coverage (ARC) proposal.

Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office late Tuesday released some more info relative to the Senate farm bill showing crop-level detail of estimated farm bill commodity payments under Title I. Initial read: Soybeans a big winner; wheat and corn big losers. Link to the table.

NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.






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