Vilsack Addresses Farm Exports

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently released a statement on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website discussing a recent prediction that U.S. farm exports will reach record highs this year.

The initial report came as something of a shock to many Americans who assumed that the extensive damage done to crop production this summer would blunt export figures. For the last several months, crops across the country have withered as extreme drought condition engulfed more than one-third of the nation, leading to disaster declarations in more than 1,000 counties.

The crop losses, however, have driven up prices, particularly corn and soybeans. As a result, American farm exports can command higher values, leading to significantly increased profits and prices.

Vilsack framed the positive numbers as a boon to farmers as well as the public in general, stating, “Even with tough odds due to extreme weather, U.S. agriculture is now poised for three consecutive years of record exports, smashing all previous records and putting America’s agricultural sector on pace to achieve President Obama’s goal under the National Export Initiative of doubling exports by the end of 2014. These exports will support more than 1 million jobs in communities across the country.”

In particular, Vilsack praised the Obama administration and credited the recently approved free trade agreements with Colombia and South Korea, as well as smaller trade agreements with the European Union, as part of the driving force of American farm exports.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer