WASHINGTON (AP) -- Farmers are taking advantage of more generous taxpayer subsidies to buy higher levels of insurance for protection against weather damage and price swings.
Congress last year agreed to pour $8.2 billion over five years into the federal insurance program in hope of making farmers less dependent on annual disaster programs.
Farmers who grow winter wheat switched in droves to revenue insurance policies, which provide protection against fluctuations in commodity prices as well as losses from drought, hail and flood. Traditional "multiperil" insurance only covers weather damage.
Wheat growers in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado and Nebraska bought more than $1 billion worth of revenue coverage this year, compared with $305 million in 2000, according to a Kansas State University analysis.
"With the increased subsidies it made it more attractive," said Eddie Bowman, a Billings, Okla., farmer
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