Minneapolis Fed: Farm Bankruptcies Picking Up Steam

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The Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis said an upward trend in Chapter 12 bankruptcies in the region “appears to be picking up some recent steam.”

There were 103 bankruptcy filings last year in the Ninth District, which spans Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and parts of Wisconsin and Michigan. (For comparison, that’s nearly three times as many as in 2014.)

Regional problems: “The Ninth District’s farm economy might generously be described as struggling to tread water,” the Fed wrote in a post. Farm bankruptcies in the six-state region continue to outpace the national rate.

Chapter 12 filings were “particularly pronounced in Wisconsin,” likely driven by major challenges in the dairy sector.

Mixed bag: Ag lenders in the region “overall are still healthy,” despite “feeling some stress from deteriorating farm balance sheets,” the bank said.

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