U.S. involvement in Iraq over the past four years has brought about a lot of changes. According to USDA General Sales Manager Kirk Miller, that includes a big boost in sales of U.S. farm products to Iraq.
"In 2008 exports to Iraq have gone to 12 times what they were in 2004," Miller says.
Right now Iraq only produces about a third of the food it needs, it imports the rest and the U.S. is providing a major portion of Iraq's imported food needs.
"This year we're going to supply about 26% of all agricultural imports that will be coming into Iraq," Miller says. "It turns out that Iraq right now is our third largest market for wheat. We expect that we'll supply about 77% of the wheat imports into Iraq this year. We'll ship over 2 million tons to Iraq with a value of over $771 million, so obviously a very important wheat market."
Miller says it's also an important market for rice, poultry, vegetable oils and flour.