Did you know that 1959 marked the last time America had an agricultural trade deficit, making 1960 the first year of an unparalleled string of surpluses?
Back then, we exported just $3.95 billion in agricultural goods and imported $4.1 billion, according to USDA statistics. Fast forward to 2015 and US farm and ranch-related exports topped $133 billion, while the country boasted a $19.5 billion trade surplus.
USDA estimates that during the most recent three years (2013-2015), the value of the US agricultural exports accounted for between 10 and 11 percent of total US exports. Within the agricultural sector, the importance of exports looms even larger, accounting for 20 percent of the value of overall agricultural production in 2013.
USDA estimates that each dollar of agricultural exports stimulates an additional $1.27 in business activity, while each $1 billion in agricultural exports supports 7,550 jobs.
This report is from the Southwest Farm Press at southwestfarmpress.com