Environmental Working Group Updates Farm Subsidy Database
Government watchdog Environmental Working Group releases updated farm government payment database this week.
Published: Nov 4, 2005
The Environmental Working Group is pushing again for farm policy reform. This week the government watchdog group released an updated Farm Subsidy Database, www.ewg.org/farm, outlining where the nation's farm payments land.
The update incorporates $12.5 billion in payments made in calendar year 2004 to more than 1.4 million subsidy recipients, each of whom is listed on the Web site. The EWG database has been searched over 36 million times since the last update in November, 2004.
A new inclusion this year is a look at the top payment levels per congressional districts. Surprising to some, it wasn't southern counties that received the highest percent of payments, although several were included in the top bracket. Instead, North Dakotan Rep. Earl Pomeroy's at-large district covering vast plains came in at 4.3% of the total U.S. farm payments with $6,228,265,686 paid out over the past 10 years. Click here for a map and list of subsidies by congressional district.
The Illinois Corn Growers Association says it won't come as any surprise that Congressmen Tim Johnson, Ray LaHood and John Shimkus found their districts ranking high nationally. "This is a reflection of not only the size of the district, but the large rural constituency that depends on corn production," the corn growers say.
EWG says just 22 of the nation's 435 congressional districts (5% ) collected more than half of all subsidies over the past decade-some $69 billion. Another 25 congressional districts absorbed an additional 20% of total USDA subsidy dollars, meaning that just 47 districts, about 10% of the House of Representatives, accounted for more than 70% of the subsidy dollars over the past 10 years-in excess of $96 billion.
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Tagged: usda, farm policy, farm subsidy, farm subsidy database