New Study Shows Grain Exports Offered $55.5 Billion In Economic Output

Washington, D.C. - 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 NCGA President and North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes. “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.”

View the full report here.

An interactive map of the study results is here.

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About the U.S. Grains Council

The U.S. Grains Council develops export markets for U.S. barley, corn, sorghum and related products including distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and ethanol. Working from 10 overseas offices and with 30 in-country representatives, the Council operates programs in more than 50 countries and the European Union. The Council believes exports are vital to global economic development and to U.S. agriculture's profitability. Detailed information about the Council and its programs is online at www.grains.org.

About the National Corn Growers Association

Founded in 1957, the National Corn Growers Association represents more than 40,000 dues-paying corn farmers nationwide and the interests of more than 300,000 growers who contribute through corn checkoff programs in their states. NCGA and its 49 affiliated state organizations work together to create and increase opportunities for corn growers. For more information, visit www.ncga.com.