Farm Bankruptcies Rise, Ag Problems Plague Nebraska’s Farmers

Farm Bankruptcies Rise, Ag Problems Plague Nebraska’s Farmers

A troubling report shows farm bankruptcies are up nearly a quarter nationwide, including a rise in our state.

Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson says the state’s farm economy is struggling to keep ag producers afloat.

“Everyone’s looking forward to this year being over,” Nelson says.

The report, published by the American Farm Bureau Federation, shows there were 37 farm bankruptcies in Nebraska – ranking as the second highest in the state.

“If you combine lower yields, with the fact that certain areas of the state didn’t get planted,” Nelson says.  “All of those things affect income for farmers.”

Nebraska has the second highest rate behind Wisconsin where 48 filings were recorded.

Nelson says the solution is improving trade relations, better weather and higher commodity prices.

Weather’s played a major impact.  Devastating spring flooding, cooler temperatures, saturated soil and now cold temperatures have pushed the harvest finale well into November.

The latest data from the USDA says the state’s corn is less than half harvested- six percent behind the 50 percent average. Soybeans, however, remain with 85 percent in the bin, which is average.

Yields are showing 10-15 percent lower than last year, too compounding the long list of problems squashing profits.

“All of those things combine will make it a tough year for a lot of people,” Nelson says. 

The yearly bankruptcy report cites U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that farms will bring in $88 billion in 2019 – 29% below the record set in 2013.