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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Wisconsin continues to top the nation in family farm bankruptcies.

The American Farm Bureau Federation says that July 2018 through June 2019, Wisconsin farmers filed 45 Chapter 12 bankruptcies. Data show the total was five fewer than the previous 12-month period but still No. 1 in the nation.

In Minnesota, bankruptcy filings increased by 11, to 31.

North Dakota had nine filings, up one from the previous period. South Dakota increased by 12, to 13.

The Journal Sentinel reports that with depressed milk prices besetting Wisconsin's thousands of dairy operations, the state has led the country in farm bankruptcies in recent years.

Ronald Wirtz, regional outreach director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, also has pointed to Wisconsin's smaller average farm size as a factor.

From July 2018 through June 2019, Wisconsin farmers filed 45 bankruptcies under Chapter 12, a section of the U.S. bankruptcy code that provides financially troubled family farmers with a streamlined path to repay all or part of their debts.

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The Wisconsin total was five fewer than the previous 12-month period, according to the Farm Bureau, which used U.S. Courts data to compile the report.

Kansas, meanwhile, saw Chapter 12 filings increase by 13, to 39. In Minnesota, filings increased by 11, to 31.

With depressed milk prices besetting Wisconsin's thousands of dairy operations, the state has led the country in farm bankruptcies in recent years. Ronald Wirtz, regional outreach director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, also has pointed to Wisconsin's smaller average farm size as a factor.

Wisconsin also has lots of farms — the 11th highest total in the nation, data from the 2017 U.S. Census of Agriculture shows. Even accounting for the relatively large number of farms here, however, Wisconsin's farm bankruptcy rate is among the highest in the country.

Tribune special report: La Crosse area farmers struggle amid tough economic times

La Crosse Tribune reporter Elizabeth Beyer is taking a look at the challenges facing area agriculture producers. To suggest a story idea, she can be reached at elizabeth.beyer@lee.net.

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The impact of the crisis has spread throughout other aspects of the rural community, from lending services to local businesses. It has caused the dissolution of businesses and prompted residents to move to larger metropolitan areas in search of opportunity.

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Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com

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Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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(7) comments

RedCloud

Most farmers voted for Trump. Are they tired of winning yet?

RedCloud

Most farmers voted for Trump. Are they tired of winning yet?

GrandpaS

Almost everybody in this country drinks milk. The market is huge. So why do prices paid to farmers stay in the basement? The cost of farming has risen significantly over the last decade or more. So why does the wholesale price of milk stay so darn low?

RedCloud

Wrong, milk consumption has been decreasing for decades. All other mammals wean their offspring of the teet. Humans think we should drink milk for life. You can get all the nutrients found in milk in many, many different ways.

Green85

Keep this in mind when you vote next November, folks.

capedcrusader

Meaning what?

lostinparadize

Green85, what does depressed milk prices which have been depressed for years if not a decade have to do with next years election? Are you a disgruntled voter who didn't like the last election results? How will the vote for either party help reverse the downward trend for the price of raw milk?

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