Thu August 23, 2012
Planet Money

Why Do Taxpayers Subsidize Farmers' Insurance?

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 8:16 am

Grandpa Traub — corn former and millionaire.
Chana Joffe-Walt NPR

This summer's drought has hit more than half the states in the country. Crops are suffering, but farmers might not be. Most farmers have crop insurance.

U.S. taxpayers spend about $7 billion a year on crop insurance. It's our largest farm subsidy.

And this subsidy goes in part to farmers — who will tell you themselves they aren't so sure about the whole idea. "I have an aversion to it," says Jim Traub, a corn and bean farmer in Fairbury, Illinois. "But you're not going to turn it down."

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Tue August 21, 2012

State Climatologist Says Drought Is ‘Stabilizing’

Drought in Colorado
Carlye Calvin courtesy of University Center for Atmospheric Research

Colorado’s drought conditions aren’t getting any better, but they’re also not getting any worse.

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Mon August 20, 2012
The Salt

How Much Does A Hamburger Cost? That Depends

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 8:38 am

Crunching the numbers to show the environmental cost of a hamburger isn't easy, and we should know.


Sun August 19, 2012

Rocky Ford Melon Growers Rebound

North American Cantaloupes
USDA Wikimedia Commons


Fri August 17, 2012
Planet Money

Competing Against The Nicest Guy In Town

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 12:36 pm

Hondo (left) and Dizz.
Chana Joffe-Walt NPR

For more: Why does the government subsidize crop insurance in the first place? We try to answer that question in our latest podcast.

The federal government spends about $7 billion a year on crop insurance for U.S. farmers. Policies are sold by private companies, but the government sets the rates, so the companies can't compete on price.

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