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
  • China makes its largest weekly purchase of U.S. sorghum

    China continues to buy U.S. sorghum, making its largest weekly purchase since entering the market with 11.5 million bushels for the 2013/2014 marketing year and 3.5 million bushels for 2014/2015, according to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s July 17 report.

    July 29, 2014

  • MANURE34.jpg Manure Expo aids nutrient management

    Valuing manure and the environment was the platform for the 2014 Manure Expo held at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield, Mo.
    The two-day exposition pulled together the resources of over 70 vendors from the U.S. and Canada along with the expertise of Extension professionals from Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Ark-ansas, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Okla. farmer’s lost phone turns up at Japan grain mill

    TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma farmer Kevin Whitney thought his iPhone was lost for good when it fell into a grain elevator last year. Eight months later, his phone was returned unscathed after a trip to Japan.

    July 15, 2014

  • Combustible grain dust prevention workshop, July 31

    Kansas State University will offer a combustible grain dust prevention workshop teaching advanced mitigation methods on July 31, 2014 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Westin Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City, Mo.

    July 8, 2014

  • House discusses new federal schemes to soak up water authority

    Last week, the House Natural Resources Committee’s subcommittee on water and power held an oversight hearing entitled “New Federal Schemes to Soak Up Water Authority: Impacts on States, Water Users, Recreation, and Jobs.”

    July 1, 2014

  • USDA to ‘cure’ feral hogs

    A preservative used to cure bacon is being tested as poison for feral hogs.

    June 24, 2014

  • Cargill to move sows to group housing by 2015

    Cargill, one of the largest pork producers in the U.S., is continuing its commitment of moving to group housing for its sows that produce hogs for pork.

    June 17, 2014

  • Bethany-Schifferdecker.jpg Girard FFA member elected state VP

    Bethany Schifferdecker from the Girard FFA chapter was elected to serve as the 2014-2015 state FFA vice-president at the 86th Kansas FFA Convention May 28-30 on the Kansas State University campus.

    June 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • thorpe_dairy.jpg Couple goes ‘Kiwi’ for grassfed dairy

    Not many people would move nearly 8,000 miles away to work on a dairy farm.

    June 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • NOAA Seasonal Drought Outlook

    As of May 13, 2014, drought covered approximately 38 percent of the contiguous 48 states, according to the U. S. Drought Monitor.

    May 28, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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