Globalization Here and Now

Recently I had the privilege of lecturing at the Iowa Farm Bureau Convention. This gave me the opportunity to listen to a great speaker, Joel Severinghaus, director of international activities for the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation. The following are comments from his speech along with my perspectives. This information proves that we truly live in a global world.

Examining the marketplace, we find that India will have the largest population by the middle of the century and that China represents the biggest growth in beef. With high beef prices, you might be surprised that the U.S. imports more beef than we export.

Shifting to hogs, 52% of the world’s pigs reside in China. Export markets, particularly in Iowa, represent $13.45 per head for pork or 13% of the value.

The U.S. exports about 57% of its soybean crop; however, Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of soy products. The U.S. still grows more soybeans than Brazil but has the highest soybean yield per acre.

Ninety-five percent of the world’s population lives outside of North America; however, keep in mind our 5% represents 29% of the world’s economy, including Canada and Mexico. China has the highest economic growth rates followed by India and Russia. The key question is whether it will be sustainable.

Perspectives
The number of producers who are expanding their farm operations outside the area, state or country surprises me. Many are considering South America, Mexico and down under in Australia.

On the Road
This week I’ll be speaking at a conference in St. Louis, then heading up to Washington State for another event, before working with national FFA officer nominees in Louisville this weekend.

My e-mail address is:sullylab@vt.edu

Editors' note: Dave Kohl, The Corn and Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist specializing in business management and ag finance. He recently retired from Virginia Tech, but continues to conduct applied research and travel extensively in the U.S. and Canada, teaching ag and banking seminars and speaking to producer and agribusiness groups.

To see Dave Kohl's previous road warrior adventures type Dave Kohl in the Search blank at the top of the page.

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