Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., talk to reporters about the farm bill at the U.S. Capitol in June. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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A shopper surveys the produce at Pacifica Farmers Market in Pacifica, Calif., in 2011. AP hide caption

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Grandpa Traub — corn former and millionaire. Chana Joffe-Walt/NPR hide caption

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Planet Money

Why Do Taxpayers Subsidize Farmers' Insurance?

Taxpayers spend $7 billion a year to subsidize crop insurance. Economists don't like it. Neither do some farmers.

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Sweet potato evangelist Maria Isabel Andrade from the International Potato Center drives around Mozambique in her orange Toyota Land Cruiser. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Potatoes come in all colors, like these Red Erik, Snowball, Cariboo, Purple Peruvian, Caribe and French Red varieties. David Cavagnaro/Corbis hide caption

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These piglets on the Hardin farm in Danville, Ind., are going to cost more to feed than they will fetch at market. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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A tomato expert recommends planting seedlings in rich soil with lots of organic matter and a steady slow-release fertilizer. hide caption

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A clampdown on contamination in growing fields has pushed out wildlife and destroyed habitats. Adam Cole/NPR hide caption

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