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Record $8 billion earned through agricultural exports

Minnesota’s agricultural exports hit a record-high of $8.2 billion last year, according to figures released by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).

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The 2012 total is a 14 percent increase or almost $1 billion more than 2011. Minnesota also moved up in the national rankings of largest agricultural exporting states by securing the number four spot, which is up two places from 2011.

Minnesota’s top export commodities were soybeans, corn, pork and feed, which accounted for more than 60 percent of the state’s total agricultural exports.

More than one-third of Minnesota’s total agricultural production is exported. Agriculture is Minnesota’s second-largest exporting sector with major markets in China, Mexico, Japan, Canada, Korea and Taiwan.

According to Su Ye, MDA’s chief economist, agricultural exports support more than 68,800 jobs in Minnesota and generate additional economic and business activities in many non-agricultural sectors, such as manufacturing, transportation, services and many more.

MINNESOTA’S TOP EXPORTS Minnesota’s top exported commodities in 2012, their values and top markets:

● Soybeans – $2.2 billion (top market: China).

● Corn – $941 million (top market: Japan).

● Pork – $814 million (top market: Japan).

● Feeds – $583 million (top market: Canada).

● Sugar and related products – $433 million (top market: Mexico).

● Wheat – $308 million (top market: Mexico).

● Dairy – $243 million (top market: Mexico).

● Beef – $116 million (top market: Canada).