Wheat sales in the United States are set to reach record highs, according to recent trends. Reports from the Department of Agriculture indicate that U.S. wheat shares are set to reach 28 percent of the global market, up from 18 percent last year. Wheat farmers are also set to earn records profits in 2011, potentially surpassing $94 billion.
These records sales are partially a result of last summer’s crippling droughts in the Black Sea region. Severe weather hindered Russian wheat production, shrinking their exports and forcing wheat importers in the region to search for alternatives. In addition, the recent unrest in the Middle East and the revolts in several Arab states have disrupted much of their production, increasing the demand for U.S. wheat.
The results of these record sales have been mixed. The increased profits for American farmers have been a significant windfall in these difficult economic times. In addition, the increase in agricultural exports has helped stabilize the job market in several agricultural states, reducing unemployment and creating jobs in local areas. However, the rise in farm prices has led many to argue for the reduction of farm subsidies. Some claim that the increased farm sales indicate a robustness that undermines the need for government aid. However, many agricultural lobbyists have argued the unpredictable nature of the agricultural sector could transform record profits in 2011 to massive losses in 2012.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer