$9.4 billion in total dollar volume leads all lenders, 2009 FDIC data show

For the fourteenth consecutive year, Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is the nation's top agricultural business lender in total dollar volume, according to 2009 data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC). Combining totals for Wells Fargo and Wachovia, the company extended its leadership by extending approximately $9.4 billion in agricultural loans last year.

"Despite the recession, Wells Fargo increased its agricultural lending by 12 percent between 2008 and 2009," said Michael Swanson, chief agriculture economist for Wells Fargo. "This increase not only reflects our continued commitment to helping agricultural businesses but is an indication of what was happening across the industry. While grain and forage producers increased their profits, livestock producers experienced record losses which resulted in unprecedented borrowing. As lenders, we had to help balance the needs and understand stresses across the entire agricultural supply."

With regional and industry experts throughout the United States, Wells Fargo provides resources to help meet the needs of agribusinesses in various industry sectors, including dairy farmers, food processors, nurseries, and vegetable, fruit and nut growers. The company also provides the necessary financial resources to help businesses grow while also managing risk. Understanding the impact of regional and national economic conditions, Wells Fargo offers specialized financing for all areas of agribusiness including input supply, production, processing, wholesale distribution and retailing.

"As the leading commercial agricultural bank, we continually look for ways to understand and meet all the financial needs of our agriculture business customers," said Ken McCorkle, executive vice president and head of Wells Fargo's Agricultural Industries Department. "Our continued success is due to our industry leading expertise and resources and, most importantly, our commitment to our customers."

In a continued effort to provide valuable industry information and resources, Wells Fargo has released a white paper on how current economic conditions are impacting the agricultural industry. Authored by Swanson, the report is titled, "Rising economic volatility and its impact on Agriculture Financing." For more information on Wells Fargo's Agricultural Industries Department and to access the complete report, visit https://www.wellsfargo.com/com/industry/food_and_agribusiness

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $1.2 trillion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 10,000 stores and 12,000 ATMs and the Internet (wellsfargo.com and wachovia.com) across North America and internationally.