(NAFB)--USDA has released its Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade and is projecting Fiscal Year 2013 ag exports will reach 140-billion dollars. If realized - this would set a new record. Driven by the productivity of U.S. farmers and ranchers - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack notes we have achieved five years of positive momentum for agricultural exports. He says the latest forecast is another promising development. Vilsack says agricultural exports have a real impact on Main Street and beyond - supporting more than a million good jobs in the U.S.
But Vilsack says producers and rural communities need passage of a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill as soon as possible - as many farm bill programs - including trade promotion programs that return 35-dollars in economic benefits for every dollar invested - are set to expire in just a few weeks. Vilsack says a new bill would enable USDA to continue trade promotion and carry out a wide variety of additional efforts to support a productive U.S. ag sector. He adds that America’s farmers and ranchers need a reliable and stable workforce to keep up production - and says passage of the commonsense immigration reform measure approved by the U.S. Senate would further strengthen American agriculture and help put the nation on solid footing to maintain strong exports in the years to come.