Agricultural exports from Michigan last year jumped significantly. The Michigan Department of Agriculture admits it is the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement renegotiated under the direction of former President Donald Trump, which is the primary factor helping Canada and Mexico remain the top buyers of Michigan farm and food products.

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Overall agricultural exports from Michigan jumped 18.7%, good for an increase of $340 million. Total AG exports from Michigan last year topped out at $2.16 billion dollars.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer jumping on the news to comment, “Through a once-in-a-century pandemic, Michigan’s resilient farmers and dynamic agricultural industry stepped up to continue feeding the U.S. and the world.”

The state Agriculture Department reports big increases in the exports of wheat byproducts, sugar beet byproducts, dairy items, and multi-use soybeans. Next in line to buy up Michigan AG products was Korea. China is moving into the 5th position.

Processed foods were in the highest demand from Michigan producers, amounting to $365 million of the total AG exports last year.  Prepared baked goods and pasta products from Michigan were bought up to the tune of $208 million.

All indications point to this year also coming in with strong numbers, despite the ongoing issues created by the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

Jamie Zmitko-Somers is the director of MDARD’s Agriculture Development Division. She says, “Michigan’s food and agriculture export numbers haven’t been this high since 2014. As we approached the summer and fall seasons, there were legitimate concerns about Michigan’s supply chain, but with almost no exceptions, it came through with remarkable growth. Across the state, foods were harvested, processed, and delivered right on time. This definitely played a role in the success of our exports.”

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