$8 billion earned through Minn. ag.exports

By Tyler Tribute staff

Tyler Tribute of Tyler, Minnesota

Minnesota's agricultural exports hit a record high of $8.2 billion last year, according to figures released by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). The 2012 total is a 14 percent increase or almost $1 billion more than 2011. Minnesota also moved up in the national rankings of largest agricultural exporting states by securing the number four spot, which is up two places from 2011. Minnesota's top export commodities were soybeans, corn, pork and feed, which accounted for more than 60 percent of the state's total agricultural exports.

More than one-third of Minnesota's total agricultural production is exported. Agriculture is Minnesota's second-largest exporting sector with major markets in China, Mexico, Japan, Canada, Korea and Taiwan.

"Agriculture exports contribute greatly to our state and rural economies," said MDA Commissioner Dave Frederickson. "These significant gains point to why our focus on developing and expanding export markets in Minnesota is paying off for our farmers who grow and produce for both U.S. consumers and worldwide markets."

According to Su Ye, MDA's chief economist, agricultural exports support more than 68,800 jobs in Minnesota and generate additional economic and business activities in many non-agricultural sectors, such as manufacturing, transportation, services and many more.

Minnesota's top exported commodities in 2012, their values and top markets:

Soybeans - $2.2 billion (top market: China)

Corn - $941 million (top market: Japan)

Pork - $814 million (top market: Japan)

Feeds - $583 million (top market: Canada)

Sugar and related products -$433 million (top market: Mexico)

Wheat - $308 million (top market: Mexico)

Dairy - $243 million (top market: Mexico)

Beef - $116 million (top market: Canada)

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