|Total Chapter 12 bankruptcy filings by county, 2013-2020 |
(Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting map; click on the image to enlarge it)
Farm bankruptcies have been on the rise over the past decade, Sky Chadde reports for The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting. Many factors contribute: climate change, increasing production costs, decreasing income, the trade war, high debt levels and suicide. Chapter 12 of the bankruptcy law is used to reorganize debts and save family farms through debt reorganization, but research shows it may be harder to reorganize debts under Chapter 12 than under other bankruptcy types. Read more here.
Farmworker and environmental groups have sued the Environmental Protection Agency for reapproving the weed killer paraquat, which they say puts farmworkers at an increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease. Read more here.
Farmworkers are trafficked by employers using the H-2A program, which "provides scaffolding for the agricultural system, allowing farms to bring in enough labor to pick fruits and vegetables Americans rely on," according to experts and activists, Amanda Perez Pintado reports for the Midwest Center. They "fear the Covid-19 pandemic has allowed the situation to grow." Read more here.