Vilsack on Port Logjams and Ag Lending Down
**Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says American ports are making progress in clearing logjams that have delayed exports of billions of dollars of farm commodities.
However, in a speech to the American Farm Bureau Federation, Vilsack said too many empty shipping containers are still being rushed back to the Far East “without having agricultural products in them.”
The port crunch has sharply impacted exports of California tree nuts and wine.
**Smaller sized loans limited agricultural lending activity at the end of 2021.
The Survey of Terms of Lending to Farmers shows non-real estate agricultural loans at commercial banks decreased by 13% in the fourth quarter, and the yearly average was the lowest since 2012.
The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank data shows the decline was driven by a sharp drop in operating loans and lending at banks with the largest farm loan portfolios.
**The USDA announced a $9 million investment in new Cooperative Extension and USDA Climate Hubs partnerships, looking to bolster climate research and connect and share climate-smart solutions directly with the ag community.
Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the partnerships “will strengthen climate research efforts and accelerate the development, adoption and application of science-based, climate-smart practices that benefit everyone.” ###
The investment is part of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Ag and Food Research Initiative.