In 2019, the number of farm bankruptcies jumped about 20 percent from the previous year. It was the most farm bankruptcies since the early 2010s, when farmers (and the rest of the country) were beginning to recover from the 2008 financial crisis.
This year’s numbers are on pace to be similar to the ones in 2019.
Through September last year, 454 farms had filed for Chapter 12 bankruptcy, which is intended to restructure debts and save the farm.
Through September of this year, 433 farms have done so, according to figures from the U.S. Court system.
Several factors have crunched farmers: the trade war, unpredictable weather, debt not seen since the 1980s crisis, increasing costs of production, decreasing income, low commodity prices, pressure to expand in order to compete and suicide.
But farmers have also benefited from government largess recently.
Subsidies to farmers reached historic levels this year, according to The New York Times.
And most of the subsidies created to offset the Trump Administration’s tariffs — the Market Facilitation Program — went to counties that Trump won in 2016, according to an analysis by The Washington Post. Those counties received 91% of the program’s money.
The market facilitation program helped prop up farm incomes, according to University of Illinois researchers.
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