USDA: Agricultural exports forecast for second-best year ever

Grain exports helped improve the outlook for agriculture.
Grain exports helped improve the outlook for agriculture.
Those who deal in farm equipment may be feeling a bit better about the economy, given a recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The department said that fiscal year 2010 should see agricultural exports hit $107.5 billion, the second-highest amount on record. This is a $3 billion improvement on what was forecast in May.

"What's more we expect to sustain this important progress," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "The outlook going forward into fiscal year 2011 is even more promising, showing $113 billion in agricultural exports."

Vilsack said that increased exports have helped drive a general resurgence in the agricultural economy. Much of this was tied to grain and meat shipped out from the country.

More improvement may be seen in the future, especially in light of a recent export ban instituted by Russia. That country has experienced an extreme drought that has ruined some fields.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the ban was put in effect to help keep prices low in the European country, and to bolster its grain reserves.