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Farm exports hit record levels

POSTED February 10, 2012 10:43 p.m.

U.S. farm exports reached a record $136.3 billion in calendar year 2011, reported the United States Department of Agriculture.

“The data released today by USDA represents a record-breaking calendar year for farm exports, demonstrating—once again—that American agriculture remains a bright spot in our nation’s economy. We saw a rise in both the value and volume of U.S. agricultural exports worldwide in 2011, as international sales rose $20.5 billion over the previous record set in calendar year 2010. Total agricultural exports for calendar year 2011 were a robust $136.3 billion.

Exports of almost all major U.S. commodities rose in calendar year 201l. Grains were the biggest contributor to the overall record, reaching an all-time high of $37.7 billion, a $9.2 billion increase over 2010. Cotton experienced the biggest year-to-year increase, up 44 percent from 2010, reaching a record $8.5 billion. Dairy and pork exports also set records in 2011, reaching $4.8 billion and $6 billion respectively.

Last year, the United States exported an all-time high of $5.4 billion worth of beef and beef products, surpassing the previous record by more than $1.6 billion. The volume of shipments also surpassed the 2003 levels, the last year before a detection of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in Washington State disrupted U.S. trade.

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