Family farm bankruptcies hit 10-year high in Kansas, spike 20 percent nationally since 2018 Featured

This graphic demonstrates the number of family farm bankruptcies last year. This graphic demonstrates the number of family farm bankruptcies last year. American Farm Bureau graphic

2019 was not a kind year to the agriculture business sector, at least by one measurement.


Family farm bankruptcies jumped 20 percent last year to 595, the highest increase since 2010 according to US Court records and a report through the American Farm Bureau Federation. The spike in the Midwest was 17 percent from 2018 to 2019.

Kansas was fourth nationally in the number of bankruptcy filings with 36 last year. Only Nebraska (38), Georgia (41) and Wisconsin (57) had more. Kansas was also among the 10 states that saw the most family farm bankruptcy filings in a decade last year.

Looking back to 2010, the American Farm Bureau Federation says there were over 5,000 Chapter 12 filings, meaning 0.25 percent of all US farm operations filed for bankruptcy protection. Over the last 10 years, Kansas had 198 bankruptcy filings, putting it seventh in the country.

The American Farm Bureau Federation says the "multi-year downturn in the farm economy, record farm debt, headwinds on the trade front and recent changes to bankruptcy rules" all contributed to the spike in bankruptcy filings. Net farm income was actually a bit above the 20-year average, boosted in part by federal funds to offset tariff impacts.

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