US agriculture exports strong in 2017


Ben Thrower, Contributor, Freight Waves

January 03, 2018


America’s agricultural sector had a highly productive 2017 with the aid of export markets. Despite severe damage to some of the nation’s most productive growing regions, including two hurricanes, massive fires, and seemingly never-ending rains, the country recorded it’s third largest export total ever.


According to a statement released by the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), a branch of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the nation shipped over $140.5 billion dollars of agricultural goods abroad this past year.


“As we wrap up another banner year for U.S. agricultural exports, I’m proud of the role that Foreign Agricultural Service has played,” said FAS Acting Administrator Holly Higgins, “especially since those exports generate 20 percent of U.S. farm income, stimulate rural economic activity and support more than a million American jobs.


There have been several advances in trade policy that helped to create or expand markets for U.S. agricultural producers. This includes the renegotiation of some trade rules with China which has allowed U.S. growers and farmers to ship products, including beef and rice as well as new varieties of corn and soybeans, to the largest market in the world.


 “FAS staff around the globe have worked tirelessly with their counterparts across the U.S. Department of Agriculture, finding, opening and expanding markets for the high-quality food, fuel, feed, and fiber that our farmers and ranchers produce,” said Higgins. “We’ve done so by focusing on what we call our ‘three pillars’ – trade policy, trade promotion, and trade capacity building and food security.”


Agricultural exporters credit FAS staff with helping to get detained loads out of detainment in foreign ports, the total value of which being assessed at over $27 million. In addition, the FAS helped to organize international trade missions to Egypt, Brazil, and India, which helped to generate an estimated $30 million in sales for the year.


Furthermore, the FAS coordinated the participation of over 1,000 US companies...