The world economic recovery was underway in 2011 and 2012 and is likely to continue in 2013, with developing countries in Asia, Latin America, and Africa leading the way. But the world economy and U.S. agriculture still face challenges. The U.S. economic recovery can be expected to be weaker following a relatively deep recession with profound financial consequences. The Eurozone crisis is likely to dampen growth prospects in developed countries, and the falling value of the euro against the dollar is constraining U.S. agricultural exports to EU markets. As a result, although farm sector receipts and farmland values remain strong, growth has slowed from the pre-recession period.

Still, U.S. agriculture weathered the recession and uneven economic recovery better than other industries. From both a trade and financial perspective, agriculture was and is better positioned than most U.S. industries. While the world economy is dynamic and increasingly competitive, U.S. agriculture's natural comparative advantage, low interest rates, competitive exchange rate, and solid balance sheet suggest its continued strong presence in world markets for the foreseeable future.