Anne Schechinger

As climate change produces excess moisture, crop insurance costs balloon

Anne Schechinger is Senior Analyst of Economics for the Environmental Working Group. This report first appeared on the EWG’s website.

A new EWG analysis has found that the overwhelming majority of Midwestern counties with increased precipitation between 2001 and 2020 also had growing crop insurance costs during that period due to wetter weather linked to the climate crisis. 

In all, 661 counties got a crop insurance indemnity payment for excess moisture at some point during that period, adding up to $12.9 billion – one-third of the $38.9 billion in total crop insurance payments for all causes of loss in these counties.

This is the first analysis of the link between recent wetter Midwestern weather caused by climate change and rapidly ballooning crop insurance payments in the region for crops that have failed or been harmed by rain, snow, sleet and other wet weather – issues lumped together by the federal Crop Insurance Program under the term “excess moisture.”

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Little of USDA’s conservation spending went to "climate-smart" agriculture

Anne Schechinger is Senior Analyst of Economics for the Environmental Working Group. This report first appeared on the Environmental Working Group’s website.

Farmers received almost $7.4 billion in payments from two of the largest federal agricultural conservation programs between 2017 and 2020, but only a small proportion of these payments went to practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions from farming. 

This finding comes from the Environmental Working Group’s newest update to its Conservation Database, which provides 2017–2020 payment data for five of the largest Agriculture Department farm conservation programs.

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Under Trump, farm subsidies soared and the rich got richer

Anne Schechinger: President Joe Biden and Congress must reform a wasteful and unfair farm subsidy system. This report first appeared on the Environmental Working Group’s website. -promoted by Laura Belin

Taxpayer-funded farm subsidies have long been skewed in favor of the richest farmers and landowners. But under the Trump administration, even more money went to the largest and wealthiest farms, further shortchanging smaller, struggling family farms.

The Environmental Working Group’s analysis of records from the U.S. Department of Agriculture finds that subsidy payments to farmers ballooned from just over $4 billion in 2017 to more than $20 billion in 2020 – driven largely by ad hoc programs meant to offset the effects of President Trump’s failed trade war.

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Largest farms received most trade bailout, COVID-19 payments

This article first appeared on the Environmental Working Group’s website. -promoted by Laura Belin

The largest and wealthiest U.S. farm businesses received the biggest share of almost $33 billion in payments from two subsidy programs – one created by the Trump administration to respond to the president’s trade war and the other by Congress in response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to updates to EWG’s Farm Subsidy Database.

The Market Facilitation Program, or MFP, was intended to offset the perceived damage done by the administration’s trade war, which reduced many farmers’ access to lucrative Chinese markets. Payments for the 2018 and 2019 crop years were just over $23 billion – more than $8.5 billion for 2018 and $14.5 billion for 2019.

EWG’s analysis of Department of Agriculture records, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, shows:

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