The National Corn Growers Association last week signed on to a letter along with 50 other farm and commodity organizations encouraging quick passage of the Central American Free Trade and Dominican Republic Agreement. The letter was sent to members of Congress.

The new markets created by this agreement will expand U.S. agricultural exports and put American farmers on an equal footing with their competitors in these markets.

The CAFTA-DR is especially important for NCGA, as the nation's corn growers rely on trade for market access and sales, said Hayden Milberg, NCGA director of public policy.

"Nearly 20 percent of the U.S. corn crop is exported," he said. "For us, it is absolutely important that we continue to find new markets and opportunities overseas with Europe and with the developing world."

Milberg said the CAFTA-DR deal, which is awaiting approval by Congress, would provide a significant boost to the farm economy. "According to the U.S. Farm Bureau, there are nearly $600 million dollars worth of benefits for U.S. agriculture in this agreement," he said.

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