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Associated Press, Published December 12 2012

Minnesota agricultural exports hit record $6.8 billion

ST. PAUL — Minnesota's agricultural exports hit a record $6.8 billion last year.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture says that's up 13 percent, or about $750 million over the previous year.

Minnesota's top exported commodities — soybeans, corn, pork, beef, wheat, sugar, dairy, and feeds — accounted for more than 80 percent of the state's total agricultural exports.

Nationally, Minnesota is the 6th largest agricultural exporter in the U.S. Its major markets include China, Mexico, Japan, and Canada.

Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson says more than one-third of the state's total agricultural production is exported, representing a significant economic contribution to the state and its rural communities.

The department says agricultural exports support more than 54,000 jobs in Minnesota and generate additional economic and business activities in many non-farm sectors.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.