May was the World Trade Month. This was the time that was set aside to appreciate the benefits of international trade. The USDA would say that all months are Trade Months since there are very few sectors that gain a lot from trade than the American agriculture industry. When the US farmers are financially stable, they are not only able to benefit themselves and their families. The money that they get enables them to pay their employees, farm service suppliers, local equipment retailers, and they are also able to support the rural communities where they stay and trade.
In 2015, the farms in the United States produced a gross output of more than $425 billion and the bought inputs that were worth $225 billion. The income that they generated had a great impact on the rural and national economy. Statistics also indicate that 21 million full and part-time jobs, which translate to about 11 percent of US jobs, came from the agriculture and food industries in 2015. The market prices of crops and livestock products significantly influence the income of the farmers. It is necessary to expand exports as a way of increasing the demand for the farm and food products.
The total exports that were made from the agriculture industry in 2016 amounted to about $135 billion. It estimated that about 20 percent of the United States’ agriculture produce is exported. The percentage also varies depending on the products. The export rate stands at 70 percent for cotton and tree nuts, 50 percent for rice, wheat, and soybeans, while meat and dairy products stand at 20 percent.
In would be wise for the Trump administration to make excellent trade agreements during the remaining half 2017 since the country’s agriculture industry is substantially supported by exports. It should help the U.S. agriculture exporters by making deals that slash tariffs, create new markets for the products, and eliminate different challenges that traders face. America’s agriculture producers would not have attained success without the international markets.
President Trump’s initiative to highlight America’s crumbling infrastructure this week has reminded the agribusiness sector on the importance of water for farmers. Not the water to grow the produce, but the water used to move crops to the world’s export market.
- S. farmers and agribusiness sector depend heavily on an aging river system to move grains and produce to the global export market. The nation’s river ways have not seen structural changes or updates to their lock and dam systems in over 50 years.
Agribusiness grain exports such as Cargill, Inc. and Archer Daniel Midland have experienced frequent breakdowns and idled boat crews which add to the transportations cost, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The Trump Administration is proposing to help finance $1 trillion in infrastructure projects for the nation’s airports, seaports, and bridges. American farmers are hoping some of this proposed spending will fix the 242 locks and dams along America’s rivers.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the federal agency charged with maintaining American riverways. The agency released its proposed 2018 fiscal year budget which includes $2.098 billion for “the study, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of inland and coastal navigation projects. Small ports and riverways with the most active commercial traffic are a priority in the proposed budget.
The Waterways Council, Inc., which has been advocating for infrastructure spending on inland waterways, has estimated that $8.7 billion is needed immediately to begin to address the poorly maintained lock and dam system.
“Our majestic waterways deliver grain, construction material, and energy products,” states the WCI. “They power commerce, provide jobs, and are a farmer’s lifeline.”
Australia and its agricultural industry have certainly felt the effects of climate change. However, farmers on this island nation have begun dealing with the changes in the weather using some creative techniques, with moderate success.
During this past year, the Australian farming industry chalked up a record in terms of crop production, which translated into record profits. This was a reversal in the downward trend in agricultural yields that the country began experiencing in the early 1990s. It was during this period that wheat production alone in Australia declined by some 25 percent. Based on available evidence, this reduction was directly attributable to rising temperatures that are an element of global climate change. More information about the effect of climate change on the Australian agricultural industry is available at www.reddit.com/r/agriculture.
Some observers have credited the recent turnaround to changes made by Australian farmers in response to the climatic changes. Dealing with such changes can in some cases involve the mere location where the farming is conducted. This is because drier areas that are farther inland have in recent years experienced less rainfall. In wetter areas, such a reduction can be beneficial to crop growth. This type of adaptation is illustrated by the expanded production of grapes on the Australian island state of Tasmania.
Other changes have been procedural in nature. One new technique is known as conservation tillage, in which new crops are planted without removing the residue of the previous harvest. Additionally, farmers have altered their plans in order to take advantage of the moisture that remains in the soil after summer, which has begun to experience greater precipitation than the winter months. Such new growing methods represent a change from the past, when farmers concentrated on increasing production when the conditions were good. Unfortunately, this philosophy cost them dearly during periods of drought. These new techniques and a particularly wet winter have together been credited for the success rate of Australian farmers during the past year.
However, continued success is not guaranteed, especially when considering that the growing conditions may worsen in the coming years. Although their methods have allowed many Australian farmers to remain profitable, they will need newer techniques and perhaps some good blessings if they want to maintain their businesses in the future.