Farm Talk

Ag News from Around the Country

October 23, 2012

U.S. ag negotiator sees bright future for exports

Record high U.S. agricultural exports of $137 billion are helping create good job prospects for students graduating from institutions such as the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas, the nation's chief agricultural negotiator told students during a campus visit on Monday, Oct. 8.

Ambassador Islam A. Siddiqui of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative spoke to more than 100 students during a stop on his first day of a three-day visit to Arkansas that includes meetings with university officials, industry executives and agricultural producers.

The program was moderated by students from the Bumpers College Honors Program and Bumpers College Ambassadors.

Next year's level of agricultural exports is expected to be $143 billion, Siddiqui said, noting that in the 1990s the level was at $60 billion.

He credited the approval of free trade agreements for much of the growth in the export of agricultural products.

The U.S. is hoping to expand such pacts and "is currently in high-level dialogue" with the European Union to secure an agreement, he said.

Agricultural exports have been a success story in international trade for the U.S. While the nation has an overall trade deficit with manufactured goods, agricultural products have fared better.

"We export more (agricultural products) than we import," Siddiqui said, citing a $42 billion surplus.

Siddiqui noted that increased estimate for next year's agricultural products export level is about a month old and takes into account the effects of this year's drought.

Even though drought conditions this year led to corn yield dropping from 145 to 125 bushels an acre, the rise in prices helped compensate for yield losses, he said.

The growth of agricultural markets in Asia is helping fuel the creation of jobs in the U.S. agricultural sector, Siddiqui explained.

"The future for agriculture has not been brighter in the three decades that I've worked on agricultural issues," he said. "The demand as we look at the projections for growth in the economies in Asia and the Pacific, even with a slowdown from 11 percent to six or seven percent, is still a lot better than the EU. These economies are still experiencing good growth and the demand for agricultural products is going to rise, so there's more demand for people."

Siddiqui said that years ago, Europe was the largest consumer of U.S. agricultural exports, but those numbers fell because of EU restrictions such as those on genetically modified soybeans and biotech corn.

By 2011, about 70 percent of U.S. agricultural exports were headed for Asia.

"Because of that I think we are going to be using the Gulf of Mexico and the Panama Canal," he said, noting the current expansion project underway at the canal. "This will integrate the economies of the Asia-Pacific region with the economies of the Western Hemisphere. I think this will be a game changer for U.S. agriculture and exports in general. In order to move more commodities, we need to have bigger capacity in our ports here on the Gulf Coast, so we will need a bigger and more modern Panama Canal."

Discussing the Asia market, Siddiqui noted China is the top U.S. agricultural export market, buying about $20 billion worth of products in 2011.£


Text Only
Ag News from Around the Country
  • Feds release cattle

    U.S. authorities released 400 or so head of cattle rounded up on public land from a rancher who refused to recognize their authority, in a dispute that drew hundreds of protesters to his defense and fueled a debate over state and federal land rights.

    April 15, 2014

  • APAC.jpg In search of a cost-effective fuel for cooking in rural Africa

    Most, if not all, food in Guede Chantier, Senegal is cooked over a wood fire. This is typical of the situation in much of rural sub-Saharan Africa. The acquiring of firewood often is a task that is added to all of the other household and farming/marketing tasks that are carried out by women.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • EPA water proposal stirs ag controversy

    Proposed new language in the Clean Water Act has some farm groups charging the government is over-stepping its authority by expanding jurisdiction of “waters of the United States.”

    April 1, 2014

  • Ag may be biggest beneficiary of drones

    For centuries, farmers have braved the elements to walk their land to check for problems ranging from wind damage and calving cows to pests and predators.
    Unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) may save farmers time and money with bird’s-eye views of farmland, says Bob Schultheis, a natural resource engineering specialist with University of Missouri Extension in Webster County.

    March 25, 2014

  • Implementation of 2014 Farm Bill allows farmers time to make an informed choice

    With the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill well into the 2014 crop year for winter wheat and the planning period for other row crops and with the significant changes Congress made to commodity policy—the elimination of Direct Payments, the need for farmers to choose between Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC), and the addition of the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) to the insurance program—the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) was faced with a compressed time period in which to write all of the appropriate guidelines and regulations if farmers were to have to make their choices between PLC and ARC this spring.

    March 11, 2014

  • Farmland.jpg Fed survey suggests farmland ‘cooling’

    Farmland markets in the middle of the country may have begun to cool, according to a survey of bankers in the Federal Reserve’s Tenth District.
    The district includes Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, the northern half of New Mexico and the western third of Missouri.

    March 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • APAC-chart.jpg Price and the value of agricultural exports

    Exports are a big deal for agriculture, always have been and always will be. Of course, the mix of agricultural exports has changed over time.

    February 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Farm bill synopsis:

    February 11, 2014

  • Farm bill plows under direct payments

    Farm subsidies that have guided agriculture through record profits in recent years are going away in the five-year farm bill that could become law in the coming week. But new subsidies in the legislation could be just as generous, and farmers aren't complaining.

    February 4, 2014

  • MU meats team.jpg MU meats judging team has top 10 finish in Denver

    The University of Missouri meat judging team placed seventh in the National Western Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest at the 2014 National Western Stock Show in Denver.

    January 28, 2014 1 Photo

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Seasonal Content