Growing Asian economies are good news for Illinois farmers.   The $9 billion per year industry exports 44 percent of what it produces and comprises 7 percent of U.S. agriculture exports. Mark Gebhards of the Illinois Farm Bureau says that demand has helped Illinois farms stay afloat during the economic downturn.


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“The demand for the export products has been a big player in keeping our prices strong,” Gebhards says.   Karen Fraase of the Illinois Department of Agriculture says the state is pursuing large foreign markets.   Wednesday was agriculture lobby day in Springfield.


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