Nebraska saw the second most farm bankruptcies in the nation from June 2019 to June 2020. Wisconsin led the county with 69 filings, followed by 38 in Nebraska.
An analysis from the American Farm Bureau Federation shows that bankruptcies nationwide increased 8% over a 12-month period, with 580 filings from June 2019 to June 2020.
The Midwest, Northwest and Southeast were hardest hit, representing 80% of the filings across the U.S.
A six-month comparison, however, shows the number of new Chapter 12 filings slowing. A closer examination of the numbers shows that while year-over-year filings increased for the month of June, filings slowed during the first six months of 2020 compared to the first half of 2019.
“Every farm bankruptcy potentially represents the end of a family’s dream,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “The fact that we saw bankruptcy filings slow in the first six months of 2020 shows how important the economic stimulus alongside the food and agricultural aid from the CARES Act have been in keeping farms above water, but the economic impact of the pandemic is far from over. It’s imperative that Congress addresses the challenges facing farmers and ranchers in current coronavirus relief legislation.”
As of August 3, $6.8 billion in CFAP payments have been delivered to farmers and ranchers. Many farmers, particularly those who are not regularly eligible for aid, have not applied for assistance or may not know the assistance is available.
AFBF Chief Economist John Newton said, “The bankruptcy numbers don’t tell the whole story. The fact that the bankruptcy process is now virtual probably contributed to a decline in numbers. CARES Act assistance was also a bandage that slowed the bleeding on many farms, but those protections will soon expire. Without more help we could expect to see filings begin to rise again.”