Farm Bankruptcies Have Surged To Their Highest Level Since 2001

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Chapter 12 bankruptcy filings in 2017 rose to the highest level since 2001 among Iowa farmers.

During President Donald Trump’s first two years in office, farmers across the state of Iowa have continued struggling to get by, resulting in a significant spike in bankruptcy filings, according to Iowa Farm Bureau data.


According to numbers from the Iowa Farm Bureau, just five years ago in 2013, only four farms declared Chapter 12 bankruptcy. In 2017, the total number of Chapter 12 bankruptcies climbed to 18- the highest total since 2001. Now farmers across the state are left waiting for the market to bounce back, while surviving in the meantime.

"Just like every market does, we're back on the downturn of prices," said James Cornelius, a fifth-generation farmer from Bellevue.

"It's an emotional business- you're proud of producing for the world," James Cornelius said. "And you're happy that you've had an acre. And sometimes the thing is looking at: 'is that farm something we have to keep, or do we have to let that go?'"

Cornelius said it could end up a struggle for at least another three years. Other farmers agree, telling TV9 it has been a challenge this and recent years past. with depressed commodity prices, poor yields in some areas, and costs continuing to rise, it has been difficult to break-even.

Trump has added to market difficulties by way of his ongoing trade war, which has negatively impacted farmers across the United States as China cut back on imports from American producers.

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