Globe with South America visibleCompetitive farmers know how critical a healthy demand is for maintaining profitability. Expanding market development opportunities with other countries is a crucial part of these efforts.

But just how critical are food and ag exports to the four biggest U.S. agricultural markets? For starters, they generate nearly $6 out of every $10 in sales. The USDA Undersecretary for Trade, Alexis Taylor, in tandem with the U.S. chief agricultural negotiator Doug McKalip, says the USDA is launching a new cost-sharing initiative to help exporters break into new markets. So far, in one year it has made $300 million in grants available.

Which areas of the world hold the most potential? Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Southeast Asia remain some of the most opportunistic locations for high-growth opportunities. The countries are expected to account for one-fifth of U.S. food and ag exports this fiscal year, while China accounts for three-fifths.

Read more on global market expansion for U.S. agricultural products here.