Exporting feed grains and related products is worth a lot of money to the U.S. economy. Those exports offer billions of dollars in direct and indirect economic benefits to farmers, the rural communities they live in, and the nation as a whole. Research commissioned by the U.S. Grains Council and the National Corn Growers Association provided concrete numbers to the benefit claims.
Feed and grain exports were worth $18.9 billion as recently as 2015, supporting $55.5 billion economic output. These exports were either directly or indirectly linked to 262,000 U.S. jobs. Hypothetically speaking, if these exports were halted for some reason, the analysis indicated that more than 46,000 jobs and $2.6 billion in Gross Domestic Product would be adversely impacted at the farm, ethanol production, and meat production levels.
That’s even before accounting for losses in linked industries along the food production chain. Deb Keller, USGC Chair and a farmer from Iowa, says international markets represent demand that wouldn’t exist elsewhere. “This research highlights the important economic benefits of U.S. exports that our country’s economy depends on to exist,” says Keller.
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