As Climate-Fed Weather Disasters Hit More Farms, Crop Insurance Costs Soar

"Critics of the federal program say it encourages more carbon-intensive farming and are calling for Congress to lower subsidies for big, wealthy producers."

"The country’s farmers took in a record $19 billion in insurance payments in 2022, many because of weather-related disasters, according to a new analysis that suggests climate change could stoke the cost of insuring the nation’s farmers and ranchers to unsustainable levels.

The Environmental Working Group, which has for decades critically scrutinized the Federal Crop Insurance Program, published new research Thursday, finding that the cost of the program has soared from just under $3 billion in 2002 to just over $19 billion last year.

“We found between 2002 and 2022 the crop insurance program sent over $161 billion to farmers, and annual payouts in 2022 were 546 percent more than they were in 2001,” said Anne Schechinger, an agricultural economist and director at EWG.

The crop insurance program has become increasingly popular with farmers over the past 20 years as a way to protect themselves from drops in prices and weather-related disasters."

Georgina Gustin reports for Inside Climate News September 7, 2023.

Source: Inside Climate News, 09/11/2023