By Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau: A recent report by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) should be good news for Arizona agriculture; certainly for our beef, cotton, and grain farmers.
According to the report Developing Countries Dominate World Demand for Agricultural Products, developing countries will account for the majority of the increase in projected growth in global consumption of meats and crops from 2013 to 2022.
So why this rapid and high increase in demand by developing countries? High and fast growth in population and income. According to the report, “Factors behind the rapid increase in developing countries’ demand [for ag products] are high rates of population and income growth, accompanied by increased urbanization and an expanding middle class.”
Such demand means our agriculture exports can grow.
Arizona agriculture exports lots of ag products to other countries. In fact, our cotton crop is nearly all export. Because Arizona grows it well and our cotton is high-quality cotton, the global markets love our product. According to the report, world demand for cotton is projected to rise 15% to 122 million bales during the next 10 years. Most of the world’s demand for cotton comes from developing countries with low labor costs for production of textiles and apparel. Cotton use in developing countries is projected to expand 17% over the next decade and account for 95% of the increase in
Crops Arizona grows that Developing Countries Want
While we don’t grow soybeans or field corn on the mass scale of the Midwest, we do grow several crops that developing countries are hungry for, literally.
The list below, pulled from the USDA report, highlights the crops Arizona grows and grows well.
- Grains, mainly wheat,
- Meats, mainly
For our most recent cash receipt figures available from the USDA, Arizona grew $130 million worth of grains, $362 million worth of cotton and
Celebrating our Local and International Markets
Arizona agriculture and Arizona Farm Bureau celebrate both our local farm markets and our international markets. We certainly need both and these markets bring revenue to Arizona. In fact, Arizona agriculture can claim a $12.4 billion contribution to this sunshine state.
Not long ago, Arizona Farm Bureau’s President discussed Arizona agriculture’s success at being productive. “Because we farm in the southwest and have higher production costs we have to be on top of our game,” says Arizona Farm Bureau President Kevin Rogers. “Our percentage differences indicate Arizona producers get more out of their agriculture enterprises than our peers across the country. Also, I’ve found that Arizona farmers and ranchers are often first to embrace technology to survive in our environment. We have to evaluate every innovation and consider its application to survive and thrive in agriculture in this state.”
He further stated, “Arizona agriculture is an important and integral part of the state’s economic growth.”
Ultimately, growing global demand for agriculture products means those key crops we export will help support Arizona’s economic activity.