Since 2014, low agricultural prices have led to increases in chapter 12 bankruptcies in the Federal Reserve’s Ninth District, reaching levels in 2018 greater than those seen in the wake of the financial crisis. For the trailing twelve months ending June 2018, the Minneapolis Fed – overseeing Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota, and Montana – reported 84 chapter 12 bankruptcies in its district. The last time chapter 12 bankruptcies were this high was the same period ending in 2010, which recorded 70 bankruptcies.
The US, European Union, and New Zealand collectively produce and sell more than 80% of the world’s cheese. Due to weather events in New Zealand and Europe, American exports of cheddar cheese have increased 83% in the first few months of 2018 from the same period of 2017, according to HighGround Dairy, a market intelligence firm that is focused on the dairy industry.