REPORT: South Dakota farmers rank high in federal crop insurance payouts

November 20, 2023

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.–South Dakota farmers have received nearly $10 billion in federal crop insurance payouts over roughly the past two decades, with payments specifically due to weather disasters rising significantly during that time.

Between 2001 and 2022, South Dakota was among the top states in the nation for receiving insurance payouts for crop losses due to weather disasters, a trend environmentalists have said reveals a hidden but rapidly rising cost of climate change that is increasing the frequency and severity of storms that damage crops.

Of the $9.6 billion sent to state farmers and ranchers in that time frame, more than $8.3 billion was claimed for weather-related losses due to excess moisture, drought, hail, wind or freezing temperatures, according to a new analysis by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group.

American taxpayers have funded a large portion of the payouts, as nearly 65% of the premiums for the crop insurance program run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture are subsidized with federal funding.