Agriculture business in Ohio grew by more than 10 percent in the month of November, while agriculture business in Georgia rose by just 1.2 percent, according to USDA data released Tuesday.
In Ohio, agricultural exports rose by 1.4 percent in November, the biggest increase since March, while the state’s meat and poultry exports jumped by 3.7 percent.
Georgia saw the biggest jump in November exports, up 1.9 percent.
Agriculture exports rose in every county in Georgia.
Ohio, which also has a large meat and meat-products industry, saw a 4.3 percent jump in exports in November.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture said the surge in exports was fueled by a strong crop, particularly corn, that has boosted production and helped drive a surge in demand for grain.
In Georgia, agricultural export growth slowed in November after a 6.3-percent increase in February.
But the state also saw an increase in meat and food-processing exports, with beef and pork exports up 4.1 percent in December, compared with 3.9 in February and 2.8 percent in January.
The state also exported grain to Japan.
Georgia’s meat exports increased by 5.4 to $1.3 billion.
Meat and food services exports jumped 2.4 times to $3.1 billion.
The Georgia Department of Commerce and Industry reported a 2.7-percent jump in meat exports in December.
The USDA said Georgia saw a 6 percent jump of meat exports to Japan, up from 4.6 percent in February, with another 4.5 percent in April.
Georgia also saw a 1.6-percent spike in exports of corn and soybeans to Japan in December and a 5.2-percent rise in exports to India in November.
“It’s a big year for agriculture,” said Gary Haney, director of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Division.
“You see a big boost in demand in the winter months, so you get some exports in January and February, then the year starts and exports start to fall in February.”
In the last six months, Ohio’s meat export sales have risen 5.5-percent year-over-year.
Agriculture has grown by nearly $6 billion since March.
Georgia’s meat sales have grown by more $4 billion.
Haney said it was tough to predict how the November increase would translate into a stronger economy because there are so many variables to account for.
“There are a lot of variables that come into play,” he said.
“It’s hard to forecast the impact of these two events on a state-by-state basis.”
The election of President Donald Trump has put agricultural interests on edge.
The Trump administration has proposed cutting spending on food aid, and a federal agency has warned states that they could lose funding if they don’t take steps to boost agricultural exports.
Trump also has said that he wants to cut funding for a farm bureau created by former President Barack Obama.
The bureau was created to monitor the safety of farm products made by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Hence, many agricultural experts say, the Trump administration needs to take the lead in helping Georgia and Ohio grow their agriculture industries.
“The president has not had a good relationship with agriculture,” Haney said.