Farm income will total $88 billion in 2019, according to the USDA. If achieved, it will be the highest dollar amount reached in farm country in the past five years. But that number belies the toll the poor economy, depressed prices and ongoing trade disruptions continue to take on growers and livestock producers across the U.S., many of whom are filing Chapter 12 bankruptcies.
From September 2018 through September 2019, Chapter 12 bankruptcies totaled 580 filings and were up 24% from the previous 12 months, according to John Newton, chief economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).
In a blog Newton posted on Wednesday, he writes that “bankruptcy filings were the highest in Wisconsin at 48 filings, followed by 37 filings in Georgia, Nebraska and Kansas.
“The support provided to farmers in 2018 and 2019 is expected to alleviate some of the financial stress,” he says. “However, not all farmers will benefit from trade assistance, farm bill programs, crop insurance or disaster aid.”
The one positive note he reports is that Chapter 12 bankruptcies in the third quarter of 2019 were down slightly, 2%, from prior-year levels at 160 filings.
You can read his blog in its entirety here: Farm Bankruptcies Rise Again.