Farmers hotline offers help during tough farming economy

Farmers hotline offers help during tough farming economy

Wisconsin farmers are seeing some of the highest bankruptcy numbers in the country, but there is help available.

The Western District of Wisconsin counts 28 farm bankruptcies in 2017, the most in the country. Paul Mitchell, University of Wisconsin professor in the School of Agriculture and Applied Economics, pointed to lower prices for commodities for three straight years as part of the culprit.

“You might have been able to survive the first three years, using your excess capital, working capital, liquidity – but as things get tighter and tighter… some people just can’t do it anymore,” he said.

But there is some help for struggling farmers.

DATCP’s Wisconsin Farm Center offers a hotline for farmers looking for advice – everything from financial to succession planning for the future. Of the 2,000 calls the hotline gets, more than half are currently about financial issues.

“Having somebody to talk to during a time of stress is really the first way of making an improvement,” said Daniel Smith with the Center.

“We bring a lot of empathy and understanding. Our goal is to keep farmers farming.”

The hotline is available weekdays from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 1-800-942-2474. Learn more here .