Colorado’s ag exports grow in early 2012

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Colorado’s agricultural exports increased more than 25 percent in the first two months of 2012, led by increases in meat and dairy products, according to news from the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

For the fourth year in a row, the state’s agricultural exports increased in the first two months of the year, and this year, exports grew another $45 million to more than $222 million, said the press release announcing the growth.

Meat exports grew over $30 million and dairy exports increased 80 percent.

The state is working on greater market access in Mexico, and hopes to continue increasing its agricultural exports. Mexico is the second largest market for the state’s agricultural products, and its fastest growing. Exports to Mexico increased more than 46 percent in the first two months of 2012. Dairy exports led the way, with a 980 percent increase. Other growing export sectors include beef, dry edible beans, animal feed and cereal grains.

Other ag export facts:

– Colorado is the number exporter of U.S. beef to Canada and the third largest to Mexico. It’s the number two exporter of beef to Japan.

– Egypt and Chile have become the sixth and seventh largest markets for Colorado beef, both new purchases of state beef during the last year.

– Colorado’s dairy exports grew to $14.7 million. In addition to exporting to Mexico, the state sends dairy products to Pakistan, Chile, Canada, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Korea, Australia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Bermuda.