Increase in U.S. farm bankruptcy rates in 2019 over the previous year - a 8 year high - as financial woes in the U.S. agricultural economy continued in spite of massive federal bail-out funding, according to federal court data.
Number of family farmers that filed Chapter 12 bankruptcies in 2019, up from 498 filings a year earlier according to data released by the United States Courts. The increase in cases had been somewhat expected, bankruptcy experts and agricultural economists said, as farmers face trade battles, ever-mounting farm debt, prolonged low commodity prices, volatile weather patterns and a fatal pig disease that has decimated China’s herd.
or so of projected U.S. net farm income in 2019 came from government aid and taxpayer-subsidized commodity insurance payments, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Even billions of dollars spent over the past two years in government agricultural assistance has not stemmed the bleeding.
Duration over which the bankruptcy filings - known as “family farmer” bankruptcies - have steadily increased every year. Farmers across the nation also have retired or sold their farms because of the financial strains, changing the face of Midwestern towns and concentrating the business in fewer hands.