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In this Sept. 19 file photo, corn plants weakened by the drought lie on the ground after being knocked over by rain in Bennington, Neb. Farmers will be paid a record $16 billion in crop insurance claims for 2012 because of the widespread drought, a staggering amount that has critics calling for changes to what they say is an inefficient taxpayer subsidy the government cannot afford. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

Record crop insurance payout stirs subsidy debate

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Farmers will be paid a record $16 billion in crop insurance claims for 2012 because of the widespread drought, a staggering amount that has critics calling for changes to what they say is an inefficient taxpayer subsidy the government cannot afford.

By DAVID PITT

Associated Press

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