When many think of ag news, they typically think about what’s going on in the U.S. in terms of weather conditions, pests and diseases, governmental legislation, food safety, pricing and more. However, the U.S. is a major exporter of agriculture goods to all corners of the world. You can stay abreast of ag news both stateside and overseas with the USDA. See some of the most recent highlights concerning agriculture trade below.

China is a major importer of U.S. ag products, and thanks to a 2014 trade mission to the large Asian nation, the U.S. added exporting ethanol to China to the list. Almost 20 percent of all foreign sales of ag products to foreign buyers are exported to China, a number that has tripled over the last decade. It’s an increase that the USDA hopes to see become the norm. Michael Scuse, the USDA Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, maintained, “Our objective for every trade mission is to create new markets for farm products made in rural America.” Read more here.

In early January, the USDA and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) reached an agreement with officials from South Africa that would allow exports of American beef, pork and poultry back into South African markets. It is believed that such exports to South Africa from the U.S. could create export sales of $75 million a year. Read more here.

USDA ag secretary Tom Vilsack is heading to South America in March to lead a trading mission in both Peru and Chile. Both nations are long-time trading partners with the U.S., thanks to free trade agreements. Farm and food exports to Chile totaled $803 million in 2015, while exports to Peru totaled $1.25 billion in the same timeframe. In a press release, Vilsack said, “In both Chile and Peru, steady economic growth and an expanding middle-class population are fueling demand for high-quality, made-in-America food and agricultural products.” Vilsack went on to advise that the time is ripe for small and medium-sized agribusinesses to take advantage of these growing markets. Read more here.

Trade missions and agreements create opportunities for ag producers in overseas markets. As the nation’s premier land lender, AgAmerica Lending helps the nation’s ag producers to answer when such opportunities knock. We offer farmers and ranchers in farm land financing to grow and succeed with our low interest rates, long amortizations, and outstanding 10-year line of credit.

Photo caption:

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack speaks with staff from Xinsha Port near Guangzhou, China. Photo courtesy of USDA