Animal ag important to Iowa’s economy, food supply

Animal ag important to Iowa’s economy, food supply

Posted Dec. 27, 2013

Iowa’s livestock sector continues to help support the state’s economy by adding 20,500 jobs within the past decade, according to the recent United Soybean Board-funded Animal Agriculture Economic Analysis.

A successful animal ag industry also benefits the soybean farmers who depend on animal ag as the biggest market for soybean meal.

The report also outlines the economic benefits the poultry and livestock sectors provide at the state and national levels. In 2012, animal ag provided the following benefits to Iowa’s economy:
• Support for 96,700 jobs
• $22.6 billion in total economic output
• A $3.7 billion impact on household incomes
• More than $1.4 billion in income and property taxes paid

Nationally, the livestock industry supported 1.8 million jobs and provided $346 billion in total economic output, according to the study. The sector also added $60 billion to American household incomes and paid $21 billion in income and property taxes.

The partnership between soybean farmers and the animal ag sector helps sustain local farms and produces safe and reliable food for the rest of the world.

According to the study, hogs are the biggest soybean meal eaters in Iowa, consuming 81 percent, followed by egg-laying hens at 8 percent.

Poultry, swine and other livestock consume about 97 percent of the supply of U.S. soybean meal every year in their feed. Last year in Iowa, animal ag used an estimated 3.9 million tons of soybean meal, or the meal from nearly 162 million bushels of soybeans. Overall, U.S. poultry, livestock and fish farmers used more than 30 million tons (the meal from 1.26 billion bushels) in the 2011/12 marketing year, which is an increase of 1 million tons (meal from 42 million bushels) from the previous year.