In this file:


·         Consolidating farms to maintain family business

·         Farm Belt Bankruptcies Are Soaring Across the Midwest



Consolidating farms to maintain family business


By Nicole Heslip, Brownfield

February 7, 2019


A strategic alliance has helped one group of farmers survive tighter times.


Rick Fruth is a partner with New Vision Farms which is a 7,500-acre crop farm in Northwest Ohio managed by a collaborative group of farmers.


“I saw an industry consolidating around me, didn’t want to go out and try to bid land away from my neighbors and friends, and decided a better path was to find key neighbors and friends and collaborate with them.”


He says the partnership evolved from trading services and equipment to formally partnering and creating a board of directors among themselves to manage the business. “We still consider ourselves a family farm, we’re just three different families.”  


He says the farm also tries to stay away from general commodities...


more, including audio [7:08 min.]



Farm Belt Bankruptcies Are Soaring Across the Midwest


By Jason Devaney, Newsmax

06 February 2019


The amount of debt at midwest farms is soaring and farmers are declaring bankruptcy because of trade uneasiness and low prices.


The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Chapter 12 bankruptcy protection filings are on the rise — increasing to levels that have not been seen in at least 10 years.


Contributing factors include low commodity prices and the ongoing trade dispute with China that has resulted in each country placing tariffs on each other's goods.


Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, for example, saw a 100 percent increase in bankruptcy claims filed in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in 2018 compared to 2008, the Journal reported. Other states in the farm belt saw similar increases.


The farm debt level, according to data obtained by the Journal, reached $409 billion last year.


Nebraska farmer Kirk Duensing filed for bankruptcy because he was unable to pay many of his bills due to low prices for corn and soybeans. He told the Journal his debt is more than $1 million.


"I've been through several dips in 40 years," he said. "This one here is gonna kick my butt."