Farmers’ Income Up 6 Percent, But Proposed Farm Bill Cuts Subsidies

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U.S. farmers will realize $120.6 billion in net income this year, up 6 percent over last year and the second-highest amount since 1973, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. The government will pay farmers $11.1 billion in direct payments this year, up from $10.6 billion last year. The Senate and House versions of the pending five-year farm bill will cut these controversial direct payments, instead boosting crop insurance assistance.

A report issued by the Natural Resources Defense Council said that the Federal Crop Insurance Program paid out a record $17.3 billion in 2012 to compensate farmers for crop losses stemming from the year’s historic drought. Farmers in Missouri received roughly $1.1 billion. The NRDC, among others, has criticized the government’s crop insurance policy, saying it amounts to a support program that’s overly burdensome to taxpayers and is calling on Congress to limit insurance subsidies when it takes up the farm bill after its August recess.

Read more from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch


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