August 16, 2016

Minnesota Farmers Turn to Bankruptcy as Low Prices Continue

 |  By: Associated Press

Minnesota's crop, livestock and dairy farmers are suffering with continuing rock bottom prices for their commodities, driving some into bankruptcy.

John Quaal, 71, operates a dairy farm near Fergus Falls and tells Minnesota Public Radio News that it's nearly impossible to break even producing milk.

"For almost two years now we've been going backwards," said Quaal. "You've got to learn to deal with it I guess. It's just the way it is."

Quaal said his farm has lost as much as $40,000 in a single month and figures the family operation lost a total of $300,000 last year.

"It's pretty hard to go to any bank, or anywhere and borrow money with a negative cash flow," said Quaal. "So it looked like about the route we should probably go is filing a Chapter 12 bankruptcy."

His family will continue to milk nearly 300 cows, but have more time to pay off debt.

Quaal turned to Bill Januszewski, a farm business management instructor at Alexandria Technical and Community College, for financial advice. Januszewski is currently working with a total of 21 conventional dairy farms in the area.