Monday, June 02, 2008

Iowa Farms Harvested $4 Billion of Cash in 3 Years

Iowa may be a blue state politically, but when it comes to farm subsidies Iowa is all red (see picture above, red dots indicate locations receiving farm subsidies). According to the Environmental Working Group Farm Subsidy database, 70% of Iowa farms received subsidies in 2002 (most recent year available, data here), the second highest percentage in the country (see chart above).

During the 2003-2005 period, Iowa led the nation by harvesting almost $4 billion in cash, i.e. farm subsidies (
data here), or 10.8% of the $37 billion paid in total farm payments during that period. Iowa benefited from the generous $18 billion of subsidies given out by the U.S. government for growing (or not growing) corn, which is an amount equal to the subsidies paid for cotton, wheat, rice, soybeans, dairy, peanuts and barley COMBINED (data here).

Farm subsidies in Iowa are so popular and common that many citizens of the city of Des Moines partake of the government's generous agricultural largesse (see map above, red dots represent mailing addresses of "farmers" receiving subsidy payments).


At 6/02/2008 12:40 PM, Blogger rufus said...

Don't overlook the fact that approx. $11 Billion in support payments (payments for NOT growing corn) have Gone Away in the last two years as a result of the higher corn prices.

Also, a lot of people overlook the fact that a large part of the "farm subsidies" are Worst Imaginable Case Scenarios. ie Natural disasters (floods, droughts, cats sleeping with dogs) and Plunging Prices. It's hard to imagine the two happening in confluence.

You can go to and see that farm subsidies were, actually, DOWN about $11 Billion last year from 06.


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