Illinois farming groups are not surprised by a healthy increase in the expected farm income in the U.S. this year. The USDA’s annual forecast shows a total net income of $100.9 billion, up $21.8 billion (28 percent) from 2010.  In a written statement, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack says the reasons for the jump include "growth in cash receipts, off-farm employment, and a record high of $137.4 billion in FY 2011 farm exports—which continues U.S. agriculture's year-over-year trade surplus.”



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“China is a major importer of grain and meat. Japan is a major importer. South Korea is becoming so,” says Dennis Vercler, a spokesman for the Illinois Farm Bureau. “The world simply wants the stuff that we produce.”  Today’s farmer is better educated and more efficient than the farmer of a generation ago.”  “Farmers are doing their best to grow more food, more crops, using less inputs, less energy,” says Rod Weinzierl, executive director of the Illinois Corn Growers Association. “They’re doing a better job every day.”