Innovation is key to America's breadbasket
(BPT) - The holiday season is a good time to recognize the important contribution of America’s farmers to our quality of life. Agriculture is a tough business. Farmers have to cope with production factors outside of their control, such as weather and geography. Yet according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, America’s 2 million farms are the world’s most productive, not only feeding our nation, but providing crucial grains and foodstuffs to help feed other people around the world.
American farmers grow about 60 percent of the world’s corn, the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) reports, and 33 percent of the world’s soybeans, according to the American Soybean Association. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that Americans import more manufactured goods than we export, resulting in a significant trade deficit, but our balance of trade in agriculture is positive – and by a large margin.
“We’re a very productive country. We are a breadbasket for the world. Half of our soybeans are exported, as well as a lot of our corn, to Europe and Asia. Because we are capable of producing more, the balance of trade is very promising,” says Dr. Thomas Carter, research geneticist at the USDA Agricultural Research Service. “We’re seeing greater technological innovation, from the lab to the field.”
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