Farmers in Boone, Ogle and Winnebago counties received about $29.9 million in subsidies through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a 2.2 percent increase from 2009, according to statistics gathered by the Environmental Working Group.
The Rock River Valley bucked a couple of trends. Subsidies for farmers across the country fell 1.4 percent, from $15.4 billion in 2009 to $15.2 billion in 2010. Corn, wheat and cotton subsidies all fell sharply.
In Illinois though, subsidies statewide increased 6 percent, largely because disaster payments rose from $1.2 million in 2009 to $61.1 million in 2010, more than offsetting declines in corn, soybean and wheat payments.
In the Rock River Valley, subsidies fell in both Boone and Winnebago counties. But Ogle County, which has a larger farm economy than both Boone and Winnebago combined, saw its subsidies increase 5.6 percent.
Again, the increase was attributable to disaster payments. In 2009, disaster relief wasn’t one of the five largest paying USDA programs to Ogle farmers. In 2010 though, the USDA sent out $1.4 million in disaster payments to Ogle farmers.
The Rock River Valley in general is a very small piece of the Illinois farming community. Statewide, farmers received $993.2 million in subsidies. Not a single Rock River Valley farmer was among the 20 largest recipients in the state.
The top 10 local recipients for 2010 were:
RLG Farms, Oregon, $134,012
Witmer Farms Ptn., Mount Morris, $84,397
Huntley Farms Partnership, Chana, $74,476
Tom & Virginia Severson, Rockford, $71,009
Glendenning Farm Service, Oregon, $66,816
Mark and Rose Shedd, Rockton, $64,837
Joie Morris, Poplar Grove, $62,972
Patrick Morris, Poplar Grove, $62,972
Shari Morris, Poplar Grove, $62,972
Charles Morris, Poplar Grove, $62,777
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