Despite the worst drought in recent US memory, farmers appear poised to collect record profits.
For the last several months, farmers from California to Ohio have experienced punishing weather, with extremely high temperatures and low rainfall withering crops and baking fields. More than 1,000 counties have been declared disaster areas and more than 1/5 of the country is experiencing severe to extreme drought conditions.
While farmers, particularly corn farmers, have seen their crops devastated by the drought, farm profits have jumped up 6.9 percent, to $144 billion, from last year. The reason for this increase is high crop insurance payouts and increased prices for damaged crops.
Crop insurance in particular has been of vital importance to farmers. Federal insurance payments are likely to double to more than $28 billion, some experts believe, and has turned what would otherwise be a major loss into record profits.
While these programs have been godsends to many farmers, record profits will only encourage legislators who believe that farm subsidies and farm programs have become too generous in recent years and may embolden representatives who want to increase agricultural spending cuts.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer