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State officials report surge in Wisconsin plant exports in first quarter


MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) -- State officials are continuing to see a boom in plant exports from the state to overseas markets.

The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection certified more than 3300 deliveries in the first quarter of 2014, up 60 percent from a year ago and 11 percent over the previous record. Spokesperson Donna Gilson says plant exports covers a wide range of materials. "Ranging anywhere from lumber to nursery plants to corn and soybean seeds and the grains produced by the plants. Anything that comes from a plant source in its raw form or somewhat processed."

However, there's three exports that top all the charts. "The biggest experts on plant products out of Wisconsin are corn, soybean and wood products." Gilson says those have traditionally been the best sellers from the state.

Gilson also says the places those products are going to are quite varied. "Our biggest markets are southeast Asia, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, that area of the world. China of course continues to be a huge market and Taiwan."

Those exports brought in around $346.8 million for Wisconsin producers and manufacturers.