Exports of U.S. feed grains and related products provide critical support across the U.S. economy, offering billions in economic direct and indirect economic benefits to farmers, rural communities and the nation as a whole.
New research commissioned by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) quantified these benefits, showing that U.S. feed grain and grain products exports were worth $18.9 billion in 2015 and supported $55.5 billion in economic output. These exports were linked directly or indirectly to nearly 262,000 jobs.
Furthermore, if exports were halted, the analysis indicated that more than 46,000 jobs and $2.6 billion in GDP would be adversely impacted at the farm, ethanol production and meat production levels before accounting for losses in linked industries.
“International markets represent demand that would not exist elsewhere,” said Deb Keller, USGC chairman and a farmer from Iowa. “This research highlights the important economic benefits of exports that our U.S. economy depends upon to subsist.”
Informa Economics conducted the study, which examined the economic contributions to each state and 52 congressional districts from exports of corn, barley, sorghum, ethanol, distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), corn gluten feed and meal as well as the corn equivalent of meat on the U.S. economy.
The study extended analysis to determine the importance of exports across the broader U.S. economy. Total impact of grain and grain products exported in 2015 indirectly supported more than 261,000 jobs across the United States and $21 billion in gross domestic product (GDP).
Breaking down the numbers, these results showed every $1 of grain exports generated supported an additional $2.19 in business sales. And every job directly created by the export of grain and grain products supported an additional 4.7 jobs in the United States.
These indirect and induced business activities extend well beyond the agricultural industry, including to the wholesale trade, real estate, oil and natural gas extraction to service sectors including restaurants, hospitals and employment services industries.
“The value of exports to the U.S. economy extends far beyond our fields and farms,” said Kevin Skunes, NCGA President and North Dakota farmer. “By analyzing the impacts to individual states and congressional districts, constituents and legislators alike can better understand how their local communities benefit from and depend on exports.”