Farmers are a vital part of the American economy as they provide food to people in the United States and around the world. Farmers in Maryland and elsewhere have faced economic challenges caused in part by weather related issues, and newly imposed tariffs are also having an impact. As a result, there has been an uptick in filings for bankruptcy under Chapter 12, which allows farmers to reorganize their debt and pay it back on a seasonally adjusted schedule.

The year 2019 was particularly hard for farmers where the weather was concerned. A very wet spring delayed the planting season, which, in turn, had a negative impact on crop yields. This, coupled with the effect the farmers felt from the tariffs, has led to a difficult year for American farmers.

Congress recently took action to aid the family farmers in the U.S. They recently passed the Family Farmer Relief Act, and it was then signed into law. The law changes the limit of eligibility for Chapter 12 bankruptcy filings from $4.1 million to $10 million. This enables a larger number of farmers to qualify for the program.

The number of Chapter 12 bankruptcies filed across much of the country has been on the increase. Family farmers are vital to the wellbeing of the people in Maryland, the United States and around the world. The loss of family farms can have a serious negative impact on the nation’s food supply. The Chapter 12 bankruptcy law gives farmers the means to weather the current downturn and reorganize their debt.