Farm life is pretty good right now. The U.S. Department of Agriculture just announced that U.S. farm exports will total $126.5 billion, a new record, in the year that began October 1. The USDA attributed the rise to skyrocketing sales of soybeans and global droughts that brought higher purchases of wheat harvested in the U.S.
Compared to the $108.7 billion farm exports totaled in 2009, this year's number is 16 percent larger. The number beats previous estimates the organization set back in August - $113 billion - and illustrates the growing U.S. farm economy. Canada is the top destination for American farmed goods, while China follows at a close second place.
Dan Hughes, a farmer in Nebraska, affirms that if "we didn't have world markets, we wouldn't have a job." Hughes depends mightily on exports in his part of the U.S.; Hughes contends that land prices have risen nearly 12 percent this year as more people aim to break into the industry. "Sales are surging in China, Southeast Asia, North America and the Middle East," Tom Vilsack, the U.S. Agricultural Secretary, declared.
If farm income continues to rise, farmers will have to consider replacing their used tractors with newer John Deere models to keep up with the burgeoning global need.