Low grain and milk prices have negatively affected Wisconsin’s ag economy for a few years now.  As further evidence of the financial stress on Wisconsin farmers, the national bankruptcy statistics show that, in 2017, more Chapter 12 farm bankruptcy cases were filed in the Western District of Wisconsin than in any other district in the nation.  Out of 94 federal judicial districts, the Western District of Wisconsin ranked first in the number of Chapter 12 bankruptcy cases filed in 2017, with 28 cases filed.  That tops the District of Kansas and the Middle District of Georgia, both of which had 25 Chapter 12 cases filed in 2017.  Rounding out the top seven: District of Nebraska (20 cases), District of Minnesota (19), the Eastern District of Wisconsin (17) and the Eastern District of California (17).

This is the second consecutive year in the Western District of Wisconsin that Chapter 12 case filings have increased more than 30% over the previous year.  In 2017, Chapter 12 bankruptcy case filings increased 33% from 2016 (21 cases in 2016 to 28 cases in 2017).  This follows a similar rise of 31% from 2015 to 2016 (16 cases in 2015 to 21 cases in 2016).