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High cost of US subsidy bailouts for cotton farmers

In an extensive investigation into cotton farming and US subsidies, reporters Dan Chapman and Ken Foskett with CAR specialist Megan Clarke of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution take a look at the impact of this "multibillion-dollar entitlement" program on farming here and abroad. They also look at how "farmers game the system to evade subsidy limits, and the difficulties regulators face trying to detect fraud and abuse in increasingly complex farming transactions." Their investigation included hundreds of interviews and extensive data analysis "including 182 million USDA subsidy transactions from 1994 to 2005...Clarke calculated payments by state, county and farmer. She examined USDA data on loans and insurance losses, and bankruptcy, land value and welfare payment records."

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