Ag Loan Balances Higher and California Bill Bans Foreign Agland Purchases
**The Kansas City Fed says strong growth in farm real estate debt pushed ag loan balances higher at commercial banks in the second quarter.
Outstanding farm debt increased by 5% from last year, the fastest pace in almost six years.
While agricultural real estate loans continued to build, production lending rose more modestly following subdued demand in recent years.
Loan performance continued to improve.
**The California legislature passed a bill outlawing land sales to foreign countries to help protect the nation’s food supply.
Senator Melissa Hurtado says, recent reports have shown that a nation could get leverage by acquiring agricultural land and creating bioweapons that impact our food chain.
The bill would direct the state’s Ag Department to release annual reports on the amount of foreign farmland utilized, the type of usage, and “any legislative, regulatory, or administrative policy recommendations in light of the information from the annual report.”
**The EPA will announce a rule this year detailing annual biofuel-blending mandates for three years instead of just one year.
Three sources told Reuters the multi-year announcement will provide longer-term certainty to the refining and biofuel industries.
While Congress has set the mandates since the RFS began, the EPA will have the authority to set multi-year mandates and make other changes starting next year.