Trump driving record number of farmers into bankruptcy

A tit-for-tat tariff dispute between the Trump administration and China has piled on pressure in an already strained Farm Belt, leaving an increasing number of growers unable to stay afloat.

Farmers filed 580 Chapter 12 bankruptcy filings between January and September, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the largest farm advocacy group in the country. That was a 24% increase from the previous year and the highest level since 2011, when there were 676 filings.

China placed steep tariffs on US farm products last year to retaliate against punitive moves by the Trump administration, adding to challenges for farmers already faced with harsh weather conditions and low commodity prices. Those have sent exports sharply lower and made it difficult for growers to plan the next harvest.