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Farm bankruptcies in U.S. rise for 4th straight year

Staff Writer |
The number of farms filing for bankruptcy in the U.S. Upper Midwest region reached at least 84 between June 2017 and June 2018, according to a recent report by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

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Those bankruptcies happened in the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Montana, and North and South Dakota, said an analysis published this month by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. It is the fourth consecutive year in which farm bankruptcies have been on the rise.

Over the same period in 2014, 32 farms declared bankruptcy. The number was 46, 60 and 67 in 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively.

Statistics from the report showed depressed farm goods prices, such as those of cattle, soybean, corn and milk, are the main reason for the bankruptcy filings.

"Not surprisingly, bankruptcy numbers inversely follow the rise and fall of commodity prices," the report said, adding that 60 percent of the bankruptcies were filed in Wisconsin, the country's second-largest milk-producing state.

Farm bankruptcy filings fell to the recent low in 2014 from a high of 70 in 2010, when the 2008 financial crisis was still rippling across multiple sectors.

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