Family farms see spike in bankruptcies

KNWA

SUMMERS, Ark. (KNWA) — Arkansas’ farming industry plays a huge role in the state’s economy. New statistics indicate there’s a spike in family farm bankruptcies nationwide.

An American Farm Bureau study shows there were 595 Chapter 12 farm bankruptcies in 2019, the most since 2011. Trade wards, low prices and non-traditional weather all played a role, the study said.

In Arkansas, 13 farms filed for Chapter 12, which was the same number that did so in 2018.

With China opening its ports to poultry trade, Arkansas farmers said they hope there’s an opportunity for more business.

“If the demand can increase, then someone like me who’s a second-generation family farmer has an opportunity to build more chicken houses that will carry into the next generation,” said Dan Schwieder, a farmer in Summers.

Northwest Arkansas farmers should take advantage of free or cheap programs, Schwieder said, like the University of Arkansas’ Cooperative Extension Service, which educates farmers on the latest developments in the industry.

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