Ag News: Revising WOTUS and Ag Lending Strong
**The EPA and the Army have announced their intent to revise the definition of “waters of the United States.”
The action reflects the agencies’ intent to initiate a new rulemaking process that restores the protections in place prior to the 2015 WOTUS implementation.
Georgia Farm Bureau and American Farm Bureau Federation supported measures in the Navigable Waters Protection Rule rolled out in 2020.
Both maintain the 2015 rule was regulatory overreach that violated landowners’ private property rights.
**Despite the global economic slowdown during the 2020 pandemic, total agricultural lending by U.S. farm banks remained strong at $98.6 billion, decreasing by only 1.8% from the year before.
According to www.agrimarketing.com, the American Bankers Association's annual Farm Bank Performance Report attributed the change to a 6.7% decline in ag production loans.
By contrast, outstanding loans secured by farmland increased 2.1% to $56.7 billion.
**A sharp decline in China's pork prices is a significant concern for the world's pork exporting countries, including the U.S.
U.S. Meat Export Federation Economist Erin Borror says the key to maintaining overall export growth is rebuilding pork consumption in markets outside of China.
Borror says when China's pork demand surged following African Swine Fever outbreaks, pork consumption pulled back in other markets.
She says, as the least “China-reliant” pork exporter, there are excellent opportunities to rebuild that demand.