A report this week says the number of farm operations facing foreclosure could top 1,000 this year — up 300 from 2008. Iowa State University’s Center for Agricultural law and taxation can offer help to those struggling farmers. Staff attorney Erin Herbold says dairy farmers have been hit the hardest, but now other livestock producers are feeling the pinch.
Herbold says a lot of hog farmers are contract producers and so the suppliers are starting to terminate their contracts because they’ve been hit with the swine flu scare and COOL regulations so they’re telling the farmers the contracts will be impossible to perform. Herbold admits it may be difficult for some producers to spend the money for an attorney, but if problems are addressed early enough it could mean the difference between saving the operation or foreclosure.
She says if you’re getting you’re contract terminated or you think you’re facing foreclosure or bankruptcy is something that’s eminent, you really need to see an attorney as soon as possible. Herbold says you call her and she can get you pointed in the right direction. Ag experts say farm debt levels are hovering near the levels of the late 1980s.