Badger State Has The Highest Number Of Family Farm Bankruptcies
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), revealed data about farmers and finances. The AFBF said that from July 2018 to June 2019 Wisconsin farmers filed for bankruptcy chapter 12 protection 45 times.
Chapter 12 allows farmers and others a way to repay all or some of the debt they incurred. In come cases of Chapter 12 filings the debt is lowered, and the repayment plans allow farmers enough time to get on their feet again.
The number was down from the previous years high of 42. However at 45 Chapter 12 filings it is the most farmer filings in the country. Minnesota had an increase from 11 to 31 filings in one years time, which is substantial.
There were 9 filings in North Dakota which saw an increase of one from the previous year. South Dakota also had a rise in one. Kansas had a substantial raise from 13 to 39.
A Sharp Decease In Milk Consumption Is One Reason For Increased Wisconsin Farm Bankruptcies
There has been a tilt from dairy and meat to plant based diets in the country and in other countries. The plant based food industry is one of the fastest growing in the nation. However that boom has also dealt a devastating blow to diary farmers, who contentiously see profits dry up.
The milk prices have dropped due to less demand, and Wisconsin dairy farmers have been struggling in the last five years. Ronald Wirtz the regional outreach director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis said smaller farms in the state factor in too. Another clear issue is that Wisconsin by percentages has a lot of farms.
According to data from 2017 U.S. Census of Agriculture, Wisconsin is in the 11th place slot for most farms. In spite of the fact that there are a lot of farms or because of it, the state has the most farm bankruptcies in the country. There doesn’t appear to be an end in sight for Wisconsin farmers, as the demand for milk continues to drop.
Farms That Have Been In Families For Over A Hundred Years Are Becoming A Thing Of The Past
In Monroe, Wisconsin sisters Emily and Brandi Harris were emptying out their barns, and preparing for a cow buyer. The sisters said little, Emily has started smoking again, ‘the stress of this year made me start up again’.
The sisters decided to throw in the towel, at their family run Wylymar Farms in May. They said their goodbyes to their faithful cows, as Ed Floyd a cow buyer arrived to put the cows in an animal trailer. Due to a growing trend of rejecting milk and other dairy products there has been surplus of milk, causing price drops.
Many dairy farmers have been in the red for months, some for years. Over 3000 diary farms closed in the U.S. in 2018. More than 300 dairy farms closed in Wisconsin from January to May alone, in April 3 a day closed.