Report: In 2019, US Farm Bankruptcies Jumped 20% Despite Trump’s Farm Bailouts
President Donald Trump pumped billions of taxpayer dollars into the U.S. farming sector in an effort to counteract the negative impact of his trade war with China, but the infusion of cash was not enough to save many American farmers.
According to CNN, farm bankruptcies were up 20 percent in 2019, reaching the highest level since 2011, which came on the heels of the Great Recession.
An analysis of court data by the American Farm Bureau found 595 Chapter 12 family farm bankruptcies were filed in 2019, almost 100 more than the previous year.
To help cover some of the losses caused by his trade war with China — which saw some markets nearly completely closed off for U.S. farmers — and boost his political support in the agricultural sector, Trump put together a $28 billion bail out package over the past two years.
CNN reported that most of the money was given directly to struggling farmers, and “about $4 billion was used to purchase surplus food for food banks and given to groups that promote agricultural aid.”
Still, many family farms went under.
"This loss of farms and this number of farm bankruptcies is deeply disturbing, and completely predictable," Kara O'Connor, government relations director at the Wisconsin Farmers Union, told CNN, blaming overproduction, farm policy, and low prices.
She added that "The trade wars were salt in an existing wound.”