ST. CLOUD -- Minnesota farmers have battled a myriad of challenges in recent years and it has forced an increased number of farms to file for bankruptcy protection.  Statistics show they have increased for the fifth straight year.

Whitney Place is an Assistant Commissioner with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. She says farmers have battled low crop prices, a trade war and poor weather to boot.

Many farmers are watching closely to see what the planting season brings. A wet fall kept farmers from getting their crops out before winter and wet soil conditions could slow the process this spring and threaten planting.

Carol Anderson is the Executive Committee Chair of the Minnesota Farmers Union and has a family farm in Foley. She says they are nervous about what Mother Nature has in store...

My concern going forward is the weather. There's a lot of corn standing out in the field. Are we going to be able to get in, get our crops off and put our next crops in?

Place says they're trying to help by requesting $50-million for the Rural Finance Authority to help farmers get the loans they need or restructure their current loans.

Ag officials are hoping trade agreements with China, Mexico and Canada along with a new farm bill will help more farmers finish the year in the black.

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