- Do we need more drought relief programs for farmers because of climate change? Probably not.
This summer, farmers and ranchers across the western United States experienced a severe and widespread drought, resulting in low yields, crop losses, and damaging wildfires. These weather events are expected to become increasingly common on a warming planet. The farm lobby is likely to argue that drought relief subsidy programs should be expanded, but, along with several other disaster aid initiatives, the heavily subsidized federal crop insurance program already provides a substantial safety net for extreme weather events. This report indicates that increasing premium subsidies would disproportionately benefit large farm businesses that are already financially well positioned to address volatile weather and growing conditions.