Agriculture Finance & Banking

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Access on the Table: the ChAFTA and Lessons for Canada

On November 17, 2014, the governments of Australia and the People’s Republic of China signed a declaration of intent on the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), bringing to a close 24 rounds of negotiations...more

USDA Raises Hurdles to Bankruptcy Sales of PACA-Regulated Produce Businesses

One of the main advantages of purchasing a business out of bankruptcy is that the process can be quick, orderly and predictable. Yet, recently, the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) has challenged the ability...more

Bridging the Week - March 2015 #5

SEC Proposes FINRA Oversee Certain High-Frequency Trading Firms; FINRA and FIA Issue Best Practice Guidance - The Securities and Exchange Commission proposed changes to an existing rule that, if adopted, would require...more

Proposed Changes to Australia's Foreign Investment Framework

In response to the findings of a recent report on Foreign Investment in Residential Real Estate (Report) by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics (Committee), the Commonwealth Government of Australia is...more

Australian Renewable Energy Agency Announces Funding For Biofuel Production

On February 24, 2015, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced $5.2 million in funding that would go to the design and construction of a pilot scale biofuel production facility in Perth. ...more

BRDI Grants For Science And Engineering Research

USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture's Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) is accepting research and education grant applications for projects to integrate science and engineering research in...more

Congressional Proposals for Nonprofit Tax Breaks and Extenders

In February, the House of Representatives passed several tax bills and the Senate Finance Committee approved several tax bills that, if ultimately enacted, would impact tax-exempt organizations....more

End of 2014 Tax Law Changes

ABLE Accounts: A new law titled “Achieving a Better Life Experience” (ABLE) allows the establishment of tax-free accounts that can be used to save for disability-related expenses. ABLE accounts can be created by individuals...more

Treasury Department Eases Cuba Sanctions

New Rules Open Opportunities for Exports, Financial Services, and Travel- On January 16, 2014, the U.S. Treasury Department issued new sanctions regulations easing the 54-year old Cuban embargo. Coming in the wake of...more

Local Agencies that Can Recover Fees Through Prop 218 Process are Ineligible for State Reimbursements

Decision from the Commission on State Mandates - Several agricultural water suppliers seeking reimbursement for state-mandated activities under the Water Conservation Act of 2009 are ineligible to receive state...more

USDA Revises Renewable Energy Loan Guarantees

On December 29, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published the final rule for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP is intended to help mainly businesses, as well as some state, local, and tribal...more

Banking Bulletin: Saddle Up! Livestock Lenders and Livestock Leasing

On August 14, 2014, in a dispute regarding entitlement to proceeds resulting from an auction of livestock in possession of a dairy farmer-debtor, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued an order in favor of a...more

Court Holds Small Business Administration and Farm Service Agency Must Consult on Loan Guarantees

A federal district court in Arkansas recently issued a decision clarifying that the obligation to consult under section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) extends to the Small Business Administration and the Farm...more

CFTC Agricultural Advisory Committee to Meet on December 9

The Agricultural Advisory Committee of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission will convene on December 9 to discuss deliverable supplies of agricultural commodities and related implications for position limits and the...more

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Announces Small Business Awards

On November 12, 2014, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy held a press conference to announce the recipients of the Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards. In her comments, Administrator McCarthy stated that "a...more

Bridging the Week - October 2014

NJ-Based Trader Previously Sanctioned by UK FCA, CFTC and CME Indicted in Chicago for Same Spoofing Offenses - New Jersey resident Michael Coscia, the prior manager and sole owner of Panther Energy Trading LLC, was...more

USDA Awards Fulcrum Sierra Biofuels, LLC $105 Million Loan Guarantee

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has guaranteed a $105 million loan through Bank of America, N.A. to help Fulcrum Sierra Biofuels build a plant in McCarran, Nevada that would convert municipal waste into renewable...more

USDA Announces Value-Added Producer Grants To Support The Bioeconomy

On August 19, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the Agency is investing $25 million to support 247 businesses throughout the country under the Value-Added Producer Grant program (the program). The...more

USDA Awards Funds To Promote Development Of Rural Wood-To-Energy Projects—15 States To Benefit

On July 15, 2014, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced grant awards to support the development of wood energy projects. According to the press release, the federal funds will leverage more than $4.5 million in...more

Enhancements to Florida's Solicitation of Funds Law Now Effective

In response to the Tampa Bay Times investigative story, "America's Worst Charities," Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam worked with the Florida Legislature to enact material enhancements to Florida's...more

Prudential Regulators Issue Statement On Increased Maximum Flood Insurance Coverage

On May 30, the OCC, the FDIC, the Federal Reserve Board, the NCUA, and the Farm Credit Administration issued an interagency statement regarding the increased maximum amount of flood insurance available for “Other Residential...more

Colombia Seeks Foreign Investment to Expand Timberland Plantations

Colombia plans to double its cultivated acreage from one million to two million hectares by 2020, according to Rubén Darío Lizarralde, the country’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. Lizarralde announced the...more

Segetis Receives Minnesota NextGen Energy Grant

On May 19, 2014, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced that it has awarded Segetis, Inc., a green chemistry company based in the State, a $325,000 NextGen Energy Grant. ...more

USDA Announces Economic Development Grants to Rural Communities

Applications due June 13 for grants that will promote sustainable economic development - New grants from the United States Department of Agriculture will help promote sustainable economic development in rural...more

Win, Place, Show: Who Comes First in Equine Liens?

Stakes are high when it comes to horse racing. Part of the lure of the track is testing one's luck; you can win big or lose it all. When it comes to the business side of the Thoroughbred industry, however, risk is not nearly...more

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