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U.S. Taxpayers on the Hook for Insuring Farmers Against Growing Climate Risks

The American Farm Bureau lobbies to protect the status quo, and its own interests.

Like every Midwestern farmer, Jerry Peckumn relies on a few things going right every season. Rain, but no deluge. Sunshine, but no heat wave. A timely cycling of the seasons.

Peckumn is a progressive, conservation-minded farmer who's deeply concerned about the impact of the changing climate on his farm. He knows nature isn't controllable and the weather is getting more erratic. So, like hundreds of thousands of American farmers, he relies on federal crop insurance.

"I'd quit farming if I didn't have crop insurance," Peckumn said, sitting at his kitchen table in central Iowa this summer, surrounded by corn and soybeans in every direction.

As climate change stokes more extreme weather, American farms will depend on insurance even more. And as they do, the insurance system will exacerbate the risks of global warming, imposing lasting consequences on the nation's agricultural production, the global food supply and the climate itself.

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