Caseload statistics from the United States Courts indicate that for the three-month period ending March 31, there were 116 Chapter 12 bankruptcy filings in the U.S. These Chapter 12 bankruptcies are designed for “family farmers” or “family fishermen” with “regular annual income.” While down slightly from the first quarter of 2017, during which 118 Chapter 12 bankruptcies were filed, the March data highlights the tough financial conditions across much of rural America. From the Northeast, into the western Corn Belt and Upper Midwest, down into the Southwest and into the West, farm bankruptcies are higher than year-ago levels.
Of the 116 filings in the first quarter of 2018, nearly 70 percent of the bankruptcies were in farm country, i.e. dairy, corn, cotton, soybean and wheat producing areas. In these areas, year-over-year increases in Chapter 12 filings ranged from up 63 percent to up 108 percent. The higher bankruptcy levels in these areas are likely attributable to continued declines in cash receipts for dairy, wheat, corn and cotton, as projected by the Agriculture Department.
Learn more on the AFBF Market Intel update.