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Nearly 1 out of 5 farm government loans delinquent

February 28, 2019

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Farmers are struggling to pay back their loans after years of low crop prices, with farm delinquencies rates in Kansas and the nation the highest they have been in at least nine years. But Kansas delinquency rates are holding up better when compared to national numbers that show one in five direct loans in the Farm Service Agency are now delinquent.

Here’s a look at some Kansas farm debt numbers:

DELINQUENCY RATES:

The delinquency rates for direct loans at the Agriculture Department’s Farm Service Agency in Kansas this January was 11.3 percent, compared to 9 percent for the same month a year ago, said David Schemm, the agency’s executive director in Kansas. When crop prices were faring better in 2015, the Kansas delinquency rate fell to 6.9 percent in January 2015.

FARM INCOME:

The latest available Kansas farm income figures show 4.3 percent of Kansas farms had negative incomes for three to four consecutive years since 2014, said Allen Featherstone, head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University.

BANKRUPTCIES:

In the midst of the farm credit crisis of the 1980s, some 265 Kansas farmers filed for Chapter 12 bankruptcies in 1987. The situation is not as dire now. There were 35 farm bankruptcies filed in Kansas last year.