The United States Summary Information
|Crop Insurance is becoming more important to farmers than Direct Payments|
- $277.3 billion in subsidies 1995-2011.
- $172.3 billion in commodity subsidies.
- $46.6 billion in crop insurance subsidies.
- $37.0 billion in conservation subsidies.
- $21.4 billion in disaster subsidies.
- 62 percent of farms in United States did not collect subsidy payments - according to USDA.
- Ten percent collected 75 percent of all subsidies.
- Amounting to $172.2 billion over 17 years.
- Top 10%: $31,400 average per year between 1995 and 2011.
- Bottom 80%: $594 average per year between 1995 and 2011.
Top programs in the United States, 1995-2011:
(click for top recipients, payment concentration and regional rankings)
|Number of Recipients
Conservation Reserve Program
Dairy Program Subsidies
Env. Quality Incentive Program
Wetlands Reserve Program
Sugar Beet Subsidies
Note: The information on conservation spending for 2011 is 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 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.