Farm Exports Continue to Rise

According to figures from both the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce, agricultural exports are continuing to grow. In the midst of one of the worst economic downturns in recent history, agriculture remains one of the few bright spots in the American economy.

There are a number of explanations for this increase in agricultural exports. One of the most important factors is the increased economic development of nations like China and India. China in particular has become one of the largest consumers of American exports. As the growing Chinese middle class expands their diets to include more meat, demand for American feed crops increases, boosting exports.

In order to capitalize on these trade surpluses, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is planning a weeklong trip to Vietnam and China to promote trade agreements. The aggressive marketing of American crops by the USDA is another factor in increased American farm exports.

These trade deals are expected to further boost the health of agricultural exports. Recent free trade agreements with South Korea, Columbia, and Panama, which are still struggling through Congress, could increase U.S. exports by nearly $2 billion.

These increases will serve to further cement the status of the agricultural industry as a major part of the American economy. Estimates for 2011 place farm exports at over $42 billion, as compared to the larger American trade deficit of nearly $500 billion.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer