Date of this Version
September 11th caused us to think about our place in the world community, the freedoms we take for granted and the lifestyle we have enjoyed, particularly in the buoyant economic times in the post World War II period. But we may not have brought the impact on agriculture into our reflections of the September 11th events, and how we interact in this world community.
Trade is essential to the U.S. agricultural sector, with earnings from U.S. exports accounting for 20 to 30 percent of total farm income. The productivity of U.S. agriculture has grown faster than our domestic demand, requiring export markets to sustain prices and revenues. The chart at the top of the next page shows the value of agricultural exports as a percent of gross cash farm income. It has grown from a low of about 5 percent in the mid-60s to a projection of over 25 percent in the next decade. The value of our agricultural exports was $51 billion for the year ending Sept 30, 2000. It is estimated at $53.5 billion for fiscal 2001 and projected at $57 billion in 2002.