In 2014 the export sale of corn and corn products in the U.S. generated $74.7 billion. The total rises to $82 billion when expanded to include all feed grain products, says a new report by Informa Economics.
Overall, corn exports increased the U.S. GDP by $29.8 billion, compared to what would have occurred without these exports. Full-time jobs related directly or indirectly to corn exports total 332,787. Feed grain exports increase the U.S GDP by $33 billion with related jobs coming in at 371,536.
“Corn – whether in the form of feed, ethanol, or meat and dairy – is a major driver of the U.S. farm economy. Exports impact not just farmers and ranchers, but the entire U.S. economy,” said National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling, a farmer from Newburg, Maryland. “That’s why it’s so important that farmers and ranchers have access to international markets, and why we need global trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership that give us a chance to compete.”
The study, which was commissioned by the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), quantifies the economic benefits nationally and to each U.S. state and selected Congressional districts of grain exports, showing results for corn, ethanol and its byproduct distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), corn gluten feed and the corn equivalent of meats, in addition to sorghum and barley.
Every $1 in exports of grains and grain products generates an additional $3.23 in business sales across the U.S., the study found. The positive economic effects of corn exports benefit not only agriculture, but also wholesale trade, real estate, oil and natural gas production, and the banking and financial industries.
“Farming is a global business, and this study shows how immense the impact of grain exports is on not just the agriculture economy, but our national economy,” said Alan Tiemann, USGC chairman and a farmer in Nebraska. “The work our industry does to build new markets and grow our relationships with those overseas who rely on U.S. grains is critical for U.S. farmers’ profitability.”
The study also showed that the halting of grain exports would cost the U.S. more than 47,000 jobs and $2.8 billion in GDP from farming, ethanol production and meat production. These results highlight the need for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
“America’s farmers and ranchers have a lot to gain from new trade agreements such as TPP, but there is also a consequence for not moving forward,” Bowling said. “Every day we delay TPP means lost markets, which this study demonstrates has a ripple effect throughout the farm economy. That’s why Congress needs to act. The sooner TPP is passed, the better for America’s farmers and ranchers.”
The full analysis is available online here.