Oklahoma Farmers

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Okie Farmers on Federal Cuts: Take Our Payments, Give Us More Crop Insurance

  • Joe Wertz

bjmccray / Flickr

Oklahoma received $81 million in direct farm payments in 2010, data show.

Congress is looking for ways to slash federal spending, and the U.S. House is taking up a budget that cuts $30 billion over 10 years from federal farm-related programs.

The controversial direct payments — which aren’t tied to crop production — have been targeted for cuts. About 27,000 people in Oklahoma shared more than $81 million in such payments in 2010, The Oklahoman reports.

Oklahoma farmers are willing to give up the direct payments, for a trade:

… they want an enhanced crop insurance system to protect against catastrophic losses, the president of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau said here Monday, reports the paper’s Chris Casteel.

The improvement of the American agriculture sector is outpacing the recovery of the overall economy, according to the Republican budget, which notes: “Taxpayers should not finance payments for a business sector that is more than capable of thriving on its own.”

Of the $81 million in direct payments sent to Oklahoma, about half the recipients received less than $1,000 that year.

… but six farms received more than $100,000, the paper reports.