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Nebraska ag exports top $7B, Farm Bureau sets 2022 goals

10/11 NOW at Ten
Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 9:13 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -Nebraska exported around $7.1 billion in agricultural goods in 2020. More than $800 million higher than 2019. A new report from the Nebraska Farm Bureau, with statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, shows despite an ongoing pandemic, Nebraska farmers outperformed in almost every category.

USDA Data on individual states isn’t made available to the public until October of the following year, so much of the data broken down in this article is from 2020, but economists said trends forecasted for the state in 2021 are looking even better.

Nebraska has just shy of 45 million acres utilized by farmers and ranchers. In 2020 it continued a trend as a top-five exporter of agricultural goods in the U.S.

“30% of our products that we grow here in Nebraska are exported to some other country and end up on a family’s dinner plate somewhere other than here in the U.S.,” said Mark McHargue, president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau.

Nebraska’s biggest export remains the same. Soybeans and corn were both up in 2020. A total of $1.9 billion for soybeans, up 40%, and $1.1 billion for corn, up 24%. While Nebraska remains the top beef exporter in the nation, Nebraska’s numbers are still down 9% from 2019.

“If you think back to 2020 we had the COVID outbreak, we had the processing plants shutting down, we had the first part of our supply chain problems that’s primarily why beef exports were down,” said Jay Rempe, senior economist at the Nebraska Farm Bureau.

That report also outlined trade goals for 2022. The Nebraska Farm Bureau remains critical of the Biden Administration, saying not enough emphasis is being put on international trade. Its trade priority list includes growing new markets, reaffirming the importance of and reforming the World Trade Organization, and topping the list is working to establish a long-term trading relationship with China while at the same time holding them accountable to international trade rules.

“And now we need some level of stabilized trading relationship with China so Nebraska farmers and ranchers, farmers and ranchers across the country can continue to see the economic benefit from that trading relationship,” said Jordan Dux, Director of National Affairs at Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation.

That report also outlines top commodity counties. Lancaster missed the top 30, at 31, with $84 million in export value. Top places, like Platte County, did over $191 million. Economists also said early 2021 numbers look promising.

“I feel confident in saying that we’re likely to see a record when we come around and do this next year it’ll be well above the $7.1 billion that were reporting at for 2020 and I suspect we’ll see some of those counties like Platte that are driving value doing well over $200 million,” said Rempe.

Those 2021 numbers are unofficial but recorded with the USDA through Nov. 2021, Early finding indicates corn exports will be up 110% and and nearly every commodity is up at least 20%.

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