With large farms throughout the South, Midwest and Northeast struggling to access financing due to the slowing markets, applications for loan guarantees have fallen stagnant. The Obama administration is taking its time giving the credit out to large dairy and livestock farms, out of fear of an environmental lawsuit.

After the environmental law nonprofit Earthjustice filed a lawsuit against the administration in 2013 over the loans it guaranteed farmers to build a concentrated animal feeding operation in northern Arkansas. The case made the Small Business Administration to reconsider how it vets loan applications.

Feet-dragging is coming from the Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency as well due to stricter environmental scrutiny.

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