The Department of Agriculture projects U.S. farm exports for 2021 at $164 billion, the highest on record. USDA announced its quarterly agricultural trade forecast this week. The results represent an increase of $28 billion, or 21 percent, from last fiscal year’s total, and a $7-billion increase from USDA’s previous 2021 forecast published in February. The annual export record of $152.3 billion was set in 2014. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the estimate “shows that our agricultural trading partners are responding to a return to certainty and reliability from the United States.” Key drivers of the surge in exports include a record outlook for China, record export volumes and values for several products, sharply higher commodity prices, and reduced foreign competition. China is poised to be back on top as the United States’ number one customer, with U.S. exports forecast at $35 billion, eclipsing the previous record of $29.6 billion set in 2014.