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U.S. Farm Bankruptcies Surge 24% on Strain From Trump Trade War - Bloomberg

U.S. farm bankruptcies in September surged 24 percent to the highest level since 2011 amid strains from President Donald Trump’s trade war with China and a year of unpredictable weather, Bloomberg News reported. Growers are also becoming increasingly dependent on trade aid and other federal programs for income, figures showed in a report by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the nation’s largest general farm organization. The squeeze on farmers underscores the toll China’s retaliatory tariffs have taken on a critical Trump constituency as the president enters a re-election campaign and a fight to stave off impeachment. The figures also highlight the importance of a “phase one” deal the administration is currently negotiating with Beijing to increase agriculture imports in return for a pause in escalating U.S. levies. Almost 40 percent of projected farm profit this year will come from trade aid, disaster assistance, federal subsidies and insurance payments, according to the report, based on Department of Agriculture forecasts. That’s $33 billion of a projected $88 billion in income. Chapter 12 bankruptcy filings in the 12 months ended September rose to 580 from a year earlier. That marked the highest since 676 chapter 12 cases in 2011. The total “remains well below” historical highs in the 1980s, the federation said. Bloomberg

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