LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) recently confirmed the state's inclusion in the billion-dollar beef exports club.

The state exported $1.031 billion in beef products during the first 11 months of 2014, setting a new record for Nebraska. NDA Director Greg Ibach said the value of beef muscle-cut exports have increased 250 percent since 2009, while the total volume of beef exports doubled during the same timeframe. The state exported $409 million in beef muscle cuts in 2009.

“Nebraska farmers, ranchers, feedlot operators and processors work hard to produce high-quality beef products that are recognized around the world. That hard work has been rewarded, as we are seeing significant growth in East Asian markets and also in several emerging markets,” Ibach said. “We are optimistic for a continued upward trend in 2015.”

Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea have all reported significant increases in beef imports over the past six years. Ibach said Nebraska has focused promotion activities in all those countries. Meanwhile, Europe has emerged as a growth market for Nebraska beef.

Ibach also noted export growth over the past six years for beef products such as beef livers and tongues. In 2014, $93 million in exports of these types of products were sold, compared to $32.3 million in 2009.

“The sales increases for these products are important since there is not much value for them in the United States,” he said.