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Nebraska farm bureau stresses trade's role in agriculture

Nebraska farm bureau stresses trade's role in agriculture

By Scout Nelson

The Nebraska Farm Bureau recently released its annual "Nebraska Agriculture and International Trade" report, once again spotlighting the significant influence of international trade on the economic well-being of Nebraska’s farm and ranch families.

This release aligns closely with recent governmental discussions on trade, highlighting the necessity for a proactive trade strategy under the administration.

"Our analysis shows that trade is vitally important to the economic future of Nebraska’s farm and ranch families," stated Mark McHargue, President of the Nebraska Farm Bureau. The report is part of a series that consistently underscores the vital role of agricultural trade in bolstering not just the local agricultural community but also the broader state economy.

According to the report, Nebraska stands as a powerhouse in agricultural exports, which constitute about 30 percent of the farmers' and ranchers' earnings in the state. "Nebraska was once again the fifth-largest agricultural exporting state in 2022 with exported agricultural commodities worth $9.97 billion," noted Jay Rempe, economist of Rolling Prairie Economics and author of the report.

Key findings of the report show that soybeans, corn, and beef are the leading exports from Nebraska, making up nearly two-thirds of the total agricultural exports. The report attributes the growth in soybean exports to increased prices and strong demand in several major markets. "Soybeans were the top export commodity, up 23 percent from the prior year," Rempe explained.

The report also highlights some challenges. It critiques the Biden administration for not vigorously pursuing new market opportunities or adequately enforcing existing trade agreement provisions that benefit Nebraska farmers and ranchers.

"The lack of work by the Biden Administration to pursue new free trade agreements," McHargue pointed out, underscores a significant concern regarding policy inaction.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau asserts that much of Nebraska's success in agricultural trade is linked to free trade agreements, emphasizing the importance of these agreements in maintaining and expanding international markets.

The report serves as a call to action for more effective trade policies to support Nebraska's agricultural sector, which is fundamental not only for the state’s economy but also for feeding and providing resources to people globally.

Photo Credit -nebraska-farm-bureau

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