US Dept of Agriculture releases farm payment database

The US Department of Agriculture's Farm Services Agency is to release a comprehensive database which, for the first time, means that payment data will be searchable for every individual in the U.S. who benefits from federal farm and conservation programs. In the past, while payments made to most individuals were available, shareholder data was obscured.

When paired with a USDA database of recipients' names and addresses, which was released on June 9, 2006, it will be possible to search for full records of each individual's benefits regardless of whether they were paid through an umbrella entity such as a cooperative.

The database is being released to four organizations that filed Freedom of Information requests, including the Environmental Working Group.

USDA Makes Subsidy Payment Information Public (Farm Futures, 20 December 2006)