Report: Under Trump, U.S. Farm Bankruptcies Have Reached An 8-Year High
Farm bankruptcies in the United States have been on the rise since 2014, but recently released court data shows that 2019 saw the highest number in eight years — despite President Donald Trump’s massive farm bailout package.
According to Forbes, family farmers filed 595 Chapter 12 bankruptcies last year, a move that “family farmers and fishermen to restructure their finances and avoid liquidation or foreclosure.” In 2018, 498 such bankruptcies were filed, the data show.
Trump offered assistance to American farmers in the way of a $28 billion bailout — which Forbes noted was more than twice “the 2009 bailout of Detroit's Big Three automobile producers” — but to no avail.
Though the aid package took away some of the sting of Trump’s trade war with China, farmers remain cut off from one of their most important markets, the publication reported. Add in “low commodity prices, growing levels of farm debt and increasingly volatile weather conditions,” and American farmers simply cannot weather the storm.
Dairy farmers saw the most closures, most notably in Wisconsin, where the number of dairy farms have fallen by 49 percent over the past 15 years. Last year, it was the state with the most bankruptcies, reaching 57 — its highest in a decade.
Almost a third of projected net farm income came from the federal government in 2019.