Minnesota farmers take on more debt for spring planting

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Many Minnesota farmers who have suffered years of low crop prices are taking on more debt to begin spring planting while trade tensions and tariffs drag on.

Minnesota Public Radio News reports that the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis found poor crop prices and trade woes "dealt a financial blow to farmers from July through September."

Many growers were struggling before 2018. University of Minnesota research determined that 2015 through 2017 were the worst three consecutive years for farm earnings in roughly two decades.

The bank says the growing number of Upper Midwest farms filing for bankruptcy follows low prices for corn, soybeans, milk and beef. Farmers' financial prospects have worsened since June due to retaliatory tariffs closing the Chinese market for soybeans and holding back milk and beef exports.

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