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Trade expert calls Ag sector “resilient” during pandemic

Photo courtesy of Syngenta US

A trade expert is praising the Ag sector’s ability to find ways to thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the pandemic, US ag exports have generated more than $270 billion for the US economy since 2019. Lynn Sandlin, business intelligence manager with Syngenta, says the agriculture industry has shown it is resilient under any circumstances.

“One of the things we’ve been very impressed with this year has been, in light of COVID and the pandemic, looking at the strength of the resiliency of the American farmer,” Sandlin said. “And the total export logistics system of being able to move commodities – in this case corn and soybeans – out of the US and into the marketplace in a very admirable fashion to where really it’s helping see some strengthening in the overall commodity prices.”

Today, more than 20 percent of what US farmers produce is exported, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. Sandlin says the key to fostering a healthy export pipeline boils down the three factors.

“One being that the US farmer is able to grow a large high-quality crop that, globally, countries knock on the door to want to be able to purchase,” Sandlin said. “The second thing is the ability of our farmers and the overall grain marketing logistics system to be able to move grain and oilseeds out into the global marketplace, not only in a timely fashion, but in a very solid robust fashion to meet the needs of foreign countries all over the world. And then the third and final one is we have to be understanding of the overall currency picture that’s worldwide.”

Sandlin says the success of US exports helps drive both the farm and general economies. Roughly one million jobs are supported by US agricultural exports, including 764,000 in the nonfarm sector, according to AgExportsCount.com.

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