Minnesota farm exports reached a record $6.8 billion last year, according to figures released Tuesday by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. That was a 13 percent rise over exports in 2010.

The top export commodities were soybeans, corn, red meat, wheat, sugar, dairy and feeds. Those accounted for 80 percent of all farm exports.

Minnesota, which ranks as the sixth-largest agricultural exporter among U.S. states, has major markets in China, Mexico, Japan and Canada.

"These exports have a huge impact on our state's economic health," said Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson. "That's why it's important to continue our focus on developing and expanding markets for Minnesota's agricultural products."

David Phelps • 612-673-7269