Farm bankruptcies trend up

Across the United States, farmers are calling it quits due to financial troubles. Farm bankruptcies rose 20% nationally in 2019. The extended downturn since the 2012 peak has led farmers to take on more debt and lenders to demand more collateral.

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February 4, 2020 - 11:21 AM

Photo by (David Joles/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)

Farm bankruptcies across the U.S. rose again in 2019, as a prolonged slump in commodity prices, poor weather and the ongoing trade war with China squeezed farmers.

Farm bankruptcies rose 20% nationally in 2019 and 16% in the Upper Midwest, according to data released by the federal court system.

While the absolute numbers are small, they have been rising steadily since 2013, a year after the most recent peak in farm profits. Farm bankruptcies in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota were three times greater last year than in 2013. Small dairy farms have led the way.

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