Farmers receive subsidies for producing things such as corn, barley, wool and wheat. A wide variety of subsidies are available to farmers for other things as well, such as disaster payments and improving environmental quality. These subsidies generally depend on things such as yearly output, where the farmer's land is located, what types of crops or other things they produce, and if they require emergency assistance or insurance subsidies to continue functioning and producing food.
EWG Farm Subsidies states that $256 billion has been paid out through farm, disaster and crop insurance subsidies since 1995. This is money paid by the government to farmers in order to reduce the cost of producing certain types of goods. Corn is one of the most heavily subsidized crops, and critics of farm subsidies use it as an example of how lopsided subsidies can be, since they usually favor staple crops, such as corn, wheat and barley, over other food types.
Disaster insurance and crop insurance are also paid to farmers through subsidies, and some subsidies known as prevented planting also exist to encourage farmers to not plant crops on their land. Insurance premiums that are subsidized cost billions of dollars every year, according to Grist.org, which also states that more than 75 percent of all federal subsidies have gone to a small fraction of farms.