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Wisconsin ag exports up slightly

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 7:56 AM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Exports of Wisconsin agricultural products were up slightly last year—by almost 1.4% to 3.37 billion dollars. That ranks Wisconsin 13th in the country for food, forestry and agricultural exports. Our top 5 markets last year were Canada, China, Japan, Korea and Mexico. But China was the only one of those 5 that increased their purchases of Wisconsin products last year. Their buys were up almost 30% while the other 4 were all down with Mexican purchases of Wisconsin farm products off by almost 22%. Our dairy exports were up nearly 11% last year.

That massive Infrastructure bill the Biden Administration and Congress are working on isn’t a done deal yet but it’s getting closer—and it looks like it’ll spend money on lots of rural needs. The bill is calling for $110 billion for roads and bridges. Another $55 billion would go for water projects with another 66 billion dollars slated for railroad upgrades. It contains provisions that set aside specific funds for rural roads, bridges, broadband and waterway improvements. Senators have also agreed on at least $1 billion to upgrade the electrical grid in towns and unincorporated areas with less than 10 thousand people. In total the bill is expected to be over a $1 trillion package when completed.

Senators are also in the early stages of putting together the next federal budget. Wisconsin Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin, chair of the Senate ag Appropriations Subcommittee, said earlier this week her committee has finished work on the fiscal year 2022 budget for the USDA. Baldwin said the 25.85 billion dollar package would provide more economic opportunities for farmers and invest in the long term health of rural America. Congress has until September 30th to fund the government for fiscal year 2022. The House has already passed the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies funding bill for next year.

The big one opens in a little more than 5 hours. The 170th Wisconsin State Fair will open its gates at 11 this morning for its run through August 15th. The fair began in 1851 near Janesville and moved to its permanent home at West Allis in 1892. Over a million people are expected to attend this year’s fair.

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