Florida agriculture exports increased to $4.1 billion in 2013

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Breeding horses, strawberries and tomatoes helped push Florida’s international agricultural exports in 2013 to about $4.1 billion, up 1.9 percent from last year, according to a report from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services released on Wednesday.

The top exported commodities included meat, prepared fruits, vegetables, orange and grapefruit juice.

Canada is the largest destination for agricultural exports, the report said, and accounts for nearly a quarter of total exports.

Increasing exports results in more jobs, says Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

“Florida’s agricultural products are of the highest quality, and we’re proud to see international demand on the rise,” Putnam said in announcing the report.

The largest jump in exports, although a relatively small part of the total, were in purebred breeding horses, which increased 32.2% over 2012 to $22.8 million in sales last year.

Horses went to places such as Argentina, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. Sales of fresh grapefruit from Florida once again continued to decline.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.