Fried Applauds Disaster Relief and U.S. Ag Sets Annual Export Record
**Florida Ag Commissioner Nikki Fried wrote to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack in support of a Secretarial Disaster Designation to provide additional assistance to Florida producers experiencing losses due to the recent freezing temperatures.
This follows the Commissioner’s requests for the Governor to declare a state of emergency and for the Florida Department of Transportation to issue an emergency order allowing farmers to move as much product as possible while it was still salvageable, both of which were granted.
**The American agricultural industry posted its highest annual export levels ever recorded in 2021, according to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack.
The final 2021 trade data shows exports of U.S. farm and food products totaled $177 billion, topping the 2020 total by 18% and eclipsing the previous record, set in 2014, by 14.6%.
The top 10 U.S. export markets all saw gains in 2021, with six of the 10 – China, Mexico, Canada, South Korea, the Philippines and Colombia – setting new records.
**World food prices rose during January and remained near ten-year highs.
Reuters says the Food Price Index tracks the most globally-traded food commodities.
The index averaged 135.7 points in January, up from 134.1 during December.
The higher food prices are contributing to a wider surge in inflation as global economies try to bounce back from COVID-19.