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How Farmers Harvest U.S. Taxpayer Dollars

By David Ellis - 2013-09-09T14:38:32Z

Photograph by Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

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Record Drought, Record Payouts

In 2012, the worst drought in more than 50 years triggered $14.1 billion in costs as taxpayers covered losses, subsidized premiums and helped insurance companies with their administrative expenditures.  

In 2011, the latest year for which data are available, 26 farmers got annual subsidies of more than $1 million; more than 10,000 received $100,000 or more. One unidentified farmer, a grower of tomatoes and peppers in Florida, enjoyed a subsidy of $1.9 million, according to the Environmental Working Group, a watchdog that promotes increased preservation efforts.

Special Report: Doomed Crops, Record Profits