The total value added to the US economy from the farm sector rose about 35% between Q-2 of Y 2009 and Q-4 of Y 2011, said the report prepared by the Council of Economic Advisers, the White House Rural Council and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Strength in agricultural production also supported other parts of the economy. Farm machinery shipments reached nearly US$3-B in Y 2011 while manufactured food product shipments exceeded US$710-B, both of which were record high.
The report cited innovation, increasing agricultural exports, strengthened clean energy demand, organic industry booming and supportive policies as factors driving the growth.
Studies found that every dollar invested in public agricultural research generated ten to twenty times that amount in benefits to society.
For instance, in Y 1950 the average dairy cow produced about 5,300 lbs of milk and now the average cow produced about 22,000 lbs of milk due to improvements in cow genetics, feed formula, and management practices. In order to keep the momentum, the federal government requested US$2.3-B in Y 2013 budget for agricultural research and development.
During F-Y 2011 ending 30 September 2011, American agricultural exports reached an all-time high of US$137.4-B, or roughly 11% of total exports. Also, the country ran a record level of trade surplus in agricultural goods, over US$42-B. The agricultural exports supported more than 1.15-M US jobs, added the report.
Clean energy development also provided opportunities for farmers. The US produced 864-M gals of bio-diesel in Y 2011 and about 40% of Corn is used for producing ethanol.
In addition, the organic industry saw US$31.4-B in their retail sales, up from US$21.1-B in Y 2008.
The report attributed the growth of the agricultural economy to favorable polices. Over the last 3 yrs, 12,000 USDA grants and loans had been issued to assist over 50,000 rural small businesses.
So far this fiscal year, the Obama Administration had invested US$437.3-M in rural businesses and was expected to invest additional US$2-B by the end of F-Y 2016.
Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr.
Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr. writes and publishes The Red Roadmaster's Technical Report on the US Major Market Indices, a weekly, highly-regarded financial market letter, read by opinion makers, business leaders and organizations around the world.
Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr has studied the global financial and stock markets since 1984, following a successful business career that included investment banking, and market and business analysis. He is a specialist in equities/commodities, and an accomplished chart reader who advises technicians with regard to Major Indices Resistance/Support Levels.