“What makes the crop insurance program particularly troublesome is that, unlike other agricultural supports, the subsidies are neither means-tested nor subject to conservation compliance requirements,” says Andrew Moylan, senior fellow with R Street, a free market policy research group. “The end result is that 26 large agricultural producers each banked more than $1 million in crop insurance subsidies in 2011, while 10,000 received more than $100,000. Meanwhile, the program encourages farmers to convert to agricultural use that marginal land that is most subject to flood and erosion.”

But though an R Street report says federal support for the crop insurance industry has swelled to $7.5 billion annually, the idea behind the legislation — that producers pocket exorbidant insurance payments sometimes illicitly — is a big bone of contention for those in the crop insurance industry, many of whom are quick to point out the fallacy of the argument.

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