Farm and farmers are essential to so many industries, if not the entire U. S. economy. Self-sufficient and independent by nature, farmers are used to facing and tackling problems thrown at them by Mother Nature, international government disputes and volatile agricultural markets. The COVID pandemic has made tough times worse.
The Federal Government is expected to provide $33 billion in various agricultural aid packages this year alone. And that still won't be enough to save them all without additional help. Chapter 12 bankruptcy allows family farmers or fishermen with debts of less than $10 million to seek immediate protection from creditors and permit payments over 3 to 5 years.
Seeking bankruptcy protection isn't giving up, it is just another tool to help the farmer in a time of need.
U.S. farm debt has grown steadily since then to more than $425 billion this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. That is the largest sum since a farm crisis in the 1980s that pushed many farmers and lenders out of business. “There are a lot of people that have been hanging on for a long time that needed a positive development, and this year hasn’t provided that,” Mr. Westhoff said. “It’s been just the opposite.”