For more information on the Environmental Working Group's farm subsidy database or to schedule an interview, contact EWG public affairs by calling (202) 667-6982. To follow updates about the farm subsidy database on Twitter, follow @DonEWG. and @EWGFoodnews
Go here to read more about how the Obama administration is still less transparent than the Bush administration when it comes to farm program payments.
Go here to read our latest release Taxpayers paid $6.2 million in Farm Subsidies to Members of Congress or Their Family Members.
Go here for a primer on how crop insurance programs work and their history by EWG senior vice-president Craig Cox.
Go here for a primer on how farm subsidy programs work and their history by EWG analyst David DeGennaro.
Go here for US Department of Agriculture background information on farm programs.
Go to EWG's AgMag for continuing analysis of the farm subsidy database and the 2012 farm bill. AgMag is an online chronicle of agriculture and the environment with bullet-proof analysis and in-depth investigations into the science and politics of food, water, farming, the environment and the money and politics that make it go. AgMag delivers a clear-eyed and new look at our increasingly complex and global 21st century food system.
The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, DC that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment. EWG also has offices in Oakland, CA and Ames, IA. For more information visit http://www.ewg.org/about
Note: The information on conservation spending for 2011and 2012 are incomplete due to missing data from USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service. In addition some payments made in 2010 were not assigned to recipients in the data received from NRCS. Those payments are also not included.
The information provided for the Wetland Reserve Program (WRP) provides an inaccurate picture of how WRP payments are distributed. USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service uses title companies as intermediaries to finalize wetlands easements under the Wetlands Reserve Program. As a result, the data provided to us shows large sums of money going to these title companies. In reality, the payments are ultimately distributed to landowners participating in the WRP.
Unfortunately, NRCS has not provided the data to show where these farms and wetlands are located or which farmers or landowners are enrolling in the program, so EWG is unable to allocate these large sums of money to individuals beyond the title companies. Therefore, these companies skew the conservation rankings and payment concentration, which EWG cannot avoid unless and until NRCS makes available the additional farm attribution data. Therefore, we have not included WRP payments in the 2011 or 2012 data update.
We have separated data on farm commodity, disaster and conservation payments in order to provide a more accurate picture of top recipients and concentration of payments among the three main categories of USDA programs.
Finally, EWG works hard to ensure the accuracy of the information it provides through its products and services, but obtains data for the Farm Subsidy Database from the U.S. Department of Agriculture pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. Therefore, EWG cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information USDA provides or any analysis based thereon. If you find an error or discrepancy on the site, please contact your local USDA Farm Service Agency office to check its records before contacting EWG.