United States farming communities are seeing a huge surge of positive economic impact due to a governmental push to negotiate free trade with foreign countries. The United States is leading the free trade movement worldwide. U.S. leaders understand that pursuing free trade agreements (FTAs) with foreign countries will create a more stable and transparent foreign trading policy, as well as, permit U.S. companies to export their products through cheaper and easier means. These agreements are proving to have a positive impact for United States’ farmers and the economic standing of that industry.

South Korea has recently agreed to participate in a free trade agreement with the United States.This agreement is great news for U.S. farmers since South Korea is the sixth largest foreign market for U.S. farm goods. Due to this free trade agreement, U.S. farm goods exported to South Korea will climb to $6.3 billion in 2013 and are expected to reach $7 billion in 2014.This is an economic leap from the $5.3 billion in farm goods exported to South Korea in 2010. 

What Does this  Mean for Farmers?

These FTAs will have an enormous economic impact in the Southeastern farming states due to the agricultural products that these areas produce. It is expected that foreign sales of fruit and vegetables and similar agricultural crops will be on track to reach $23 billion in value this year. Crops that are seeing the greatest economic impact are: beef, soybeans, hides, almonds, rice, citrus fruit, and orange juice. 

Not only are the FTAs helping the agricultural industry, but the growing worldwide acceptance of genetically modified foods has helped those farmers who cultivate such GMOs. This positively affects those U.S. farmers who have also accepted GMOs and started incorporating biotech products into their crop fields. A recent study showed that 90% of U.S.-grown corn and soybeans are genetically modified, as well as 95% of sugar beets.

The future is bright for the agricultural community and now is the time to invest in this industry. Whether it’s purchasing a new agricultural asset or developing your current one, Bankers South can help! Bankers South offers a variety of farm loans and agricultural loans through our AgAmerica Lending program, tailored to fit your specific request. We offer highly competitive interest rates and are willing to work with you to provide financing for your agricultural needs.

Written by Carolina Hernandez, an analyst at Bankers South, a Land South Group company.