Reliance on ag trade continues to grow, but is different for each crop

An ag economist says when discussing the magnitude of global trade, it’s important to remember that reliance on ag trade is different for each crop.

“There’s a different story for each crop so we need to keep that in mind when we think about changing trade patterns and growing and expanding trade,” he says. “That means something different for each crop.”

David Widmar with Ag Economic Insights recently looked at 13 crops to determine how much of production is reliant on trade.   

Sorghum, peanuts, and rye are less reliant on trade.

Widmar tells Brownfield the U.S. is entering a new era of trade reliance.

“Prior to the mid-2000s between 10-15 percent of all global harvested acres went to exports and now we’re at 19 percent of all acres,” he says.

He says it is unclear if the trend moving forward will continue higher, remain at current levels, or drift lower than the long-run level of 10-15 percent.

Audio: David Widmar, Ag Economic Insights

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