Farm exports boosting Midwest economy - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Katie Lange

Farm exports boosting Midwest economy


ROCHESTER (KTTC) -- If you're a farmer, the price of grain and increase of foreign trade exports are giving you something to smile about.

A recent report shows that exports are driving the Midwest economy higher.

Soybeans, wheat, corn, and cotton are in demand like never before.

The downfall for consumers, prices at your supermarket and clothing store may rise, but not because of the raw grain, instead, due to packaging and transporting the product.

There was a greater demand for grain in foreign nations, like China, than what the United States could produce last year.

Approximately 25 percent of the state's soybean production is shipped to China.

Their demand for soybeans has risen due to a growing middle class, trying to improve their diet by eating more pork.

As the demand for livestock has risen, so has the demand for animal feed and soybean meal.

A local grain merchandiser says the price of grain is high due to ethanol, lower yields and demand.

"A year ago we had a 1.7 billion bushel carry-out, this year it's under 700 million. We've got a million bushel swing there and that's why prices are going to stay up until we can build supply again," explained Steve Sturm, with All-American Co-op, in Stewartville.

As for why cotton is so expensive, Sturm said many U.S. producers of cotton sold their machinery and stopped growing it years ago because prices were so low.

The sudden drop in cotton producers is now causing a higher demand.

Sturm says if you're looking to purchase jeans, do it sooner than later.

Record low interest rates, producing a cheap dollar, are also helping drive Minnesota's economy.


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