Issues on the radar that could limit U.S. agriculture’s participation in world economic growth include climate change legislation, financial reform and the economic recovery.

U.S. farmers are poised to participate in what political observer Jim Wiesemeyer describes as the beginning of a “golden era” in agriculture as China and other developing nations expand demand for food and fiber.

The one caveat that could stymie that growth, he said, is over-regulation.

“Farmers are saying to regulators, ‘get out of the way,’” Wiesemeyer said as keynote speaker at the 53rd annual meeting of Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. “U.S. agriculture will be in a growth market,” he said, “if it is allowed to be.”

As the global recession begins to wane, Wiesemeyer, with Informa Economics in Washington, D.C., sees a growing demand from developing and developed nations as a driving force for agriculture. He said a revival in the U. S. rural economy is likely over the next 40 years, particularly “in the Sunbelt but also in the Plains. The U.S. population will see significant growth.”

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