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Farm Bankruptcies up 24 Percent Since Trade War Start

Farm bankruptcies are at the highest level seen since 2011. 

Data compiled by the American Farm Bureau Federation shows farm bankruptcies surged 24 percent since the trade with China began. For the 12-month period ending September 2019, Chapter 12 farm bankruptcies totaled 580 filings, the highest level since 676 filings in 2011. 

AFBF Chief Economist John Newton points out that bankruptcy filings over the last 12 months were the highest in Wisconsin at 48 filings, followed by 37 filings in Georgia, Nebraska and Kansas. Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Wisconsin and West Virginia all experienced Chapter 12 bankruptcy filings at or above 10-year highs. 

USDA currently projects farm income in 2019 to reach $88 billion, the highest net farm income since 2014’s $92 billion, but still 29 percent below 2013’s record high. 

Nearly 40 percent of that income, roughly $33 billion, is related to trade and disaster assistance, along with crop insurance programs.

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