Report: Kansas agricultural exports top $5 billion for first time in decade

Updated: May 4

The Kansas Department of Agriculture reported the state exported $5.35 billion in agriculture goods in 2021, an increase from $4.04 billion in 2020. The total included $2 billion in meat and $1.5 billion in cereals, with two-thirds of all exports going to Mexico and Japan. (Jill Hummels for the Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — Exports by Kansas farmers, ranchers and agriculture producers rebounded in 2021 to $5.35 billion on the strength of demand for meats and cereals and driven by consumers in Mexico and Japan, state officials said Wednesday.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture reported the wheat state’s leading agricultural exports last year were meat at $2.06 billion, cereals at $1.51 billion and oilseed at $626 million.

The department said top export destinations for Kansas agricultural goods were Mexico, $1.91 billion or 44.3 percent of the state’s total; Japan, $822 million or 19.9 percent; and China, $701 million or 16.9 percent. In 2021, the agency said Kansas shipped agricultural products to 187 countries.

Gov. Laura Kelly, who is seeking re-election in November, said the state’s growth in agricultural exports to $5.35 billion in 2021, up from $4.04 billion in 2020, solidified the state’s position among global suppliers. Last year’s total, she said, was the first time Kansas had surpassed $5 billion in “at least a decade.”

“Kansans have long-known that farmers, ranchers, and agriculture producers are vital to our state’s economy,” Kelly said. “Kansas is a national leader in agriculture, and setting these records solidifies the important role the state also has on a global scale.”

The surge in 2021 represented a 32 percent increase in Kansas agricultural exports, which also included vinegar, beverages, dairy products, milling products, fats, vegetables, flour and starch.

This article was used by permission from the Kansas Reflector. The Kansas Reflector is a non-profit online news organization serving Kansas. For more information on the organization, go to its website at

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