Friday, March 9, 2012
THE OBESITY RATE OF THE IRON LADY & THE HUNGARY-CHINA PIPELINE TO SYRIA!
U.S. FARM EXPORTS REACHED RECORD HIGH IN 2011
Published March 03, 2012 + By: Wes Nelson, USDA Farm Service Agency, West Central Tribune
WILLMAR — Recent data released by the United States Department of Agriculture indicate that U.S. farm exports reached a record high of $136.3 billion in calendar year 2011.
The record-breaking year reflects an increase in both the value and volume of U.S. agricultural exports, as international sales rose $20.5 billion over the previous record set in calendar year 2010.
Exports of almost all major U.S. commodities increased in calendar year 2011. However, 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 exports had the largest year-to-year increase, up 44 percent from 2010, reaching a record value of $8.5 billion.
Exports of U.S. livestock and livestock products were also exceptional in 2011.
According to USDA, exports of U.S. beef and beef products reached an all-time high of $5.4 billion, surpassing the previous record by more than $1.6 billion.
The volume of beef shipments also surpassed the 2003 levels, the last year before the detection of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in the state of Washington disrupted U.S. beef trade. The return to pre-2003 levels marks an important milestone in USDA’s efforts to reopen and expand international markets for U.S. beef.
Dairy and pork exports also set records of $4.8 billion and $6 billion respectively in 2011.
In a previously released report, USDA announced that China became the biggest market for U.S. agricultural goods, purchasing $20 billion in U.S. agricultural exports during the 2011 fiscal year.
The improved demand and market for U.S. agricultural commodities and products has helped support more than just the agricultural economy. According to USDA, every $1 billion in agricultural exports supports 8,400 American jobs. That would imply that U.S. farm exports helped support more than 1 million U.S. jobs in 2011.
USDA preparing for 2012 Census of Agriculture
A complete counting of U.S. farms and the people who operate them is conducted every five years by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. In preparation for the 2012 Census of Agriculture, initial surveys have been mailed to help identify all active farms in the United States.
The National Agricultural Classification Survey asks landowners some basic farm information. This is an important early step in determining who should receive a 2012 Census of Agriculture report form, which will be mailed later this year.
The Census of Agriculture is the leading source of facts and information about American agriculture. It is also the only source of agricultural statistics that is comparable for each county in the nation. The information gathered is used by farm organizations, businesses, government decision-makers, commodity market analysts, news media, researchers and the general public.
As required by law, all information provided by individuals for the Census of Agriculture is kept in strict confidence.
USDA to provide mobile access to information
Officials recently announced that USDA’s Farm Service Agency will be providing a package of technology enhancements that will include Internet access for handheld and smartphone users. The technological improvements will allow users to have easy access to farm program data and information, including news releases and AskFSA, the agency’s online self-help knowledge base.
The enhancements are part of USDA’s overall plan to modernize and accelerate information delivery during a challenging budget climate, while improving customer service through the use of innovative technologies and business solutions.
Like all websites, information is available through any device that connects to the Internet. The mobile site organizes the information in a way that makes for easy reading on a small, handheld screen.
In addition to the mobile website, the Farm Service Agency is offering farmers a more efficient and timely option for receiving critical program information on items related to program eligibility and sign-up deadlines. The information can be accessed through an electronic news service hosted by GovDelivery.
By enrolling for the free online communications through GovDelivery, farmers and farmland owners can receive news via email, directly to their home, farm office or their mobile devices.
A 2011 study conducted by the Pew Research Center indicated that mobile Internet access is growing rapidly. From May 2010 to July 2011, the number of adults with mobile applications increased from 43 percent to 50 percent.
In addition, USDA’s Economic Research Service found that 57 percent of all rural households use broadband Internet at home, but some 6 percent — or over 1 million rural households — access the Internet at home solely through wireless broadband services.
up 5 percent
According to USDA, Minnesota wool production totaled 870,000 pounds in 2011, up 5 percent from 2010. There were 140,000 sheep and lambs shorn in 2011, up 8 percent from a year ago. The average fleece weight was 6.2 pounds, down slightly from the 2010 average of 6.4 pounds.
The value of the state’s 2011 wool production was $539,000, up 51 percent from the previous year’s value of $357,000. The average price per pound for 2011 was 62 cents, up 19 cents from the 2010 average price.
In terms of 2011 wool production, Minnesota ranked 11th in the nation.
Wes Nelson is executive director of the USDA Farm Service Agency in Kandiyohi County.
Posted by Eileen at 2:54 PM