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Agriculture in Indiana worth $38 billion

Staff writer |
Agricultural industries contributed $37.9 billion to Indiana's economy in 2011, according to a report from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business.

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"Agriculture's Bounty: The Economic Contribution of Agriculture," produced by the Indiana Business Research Center, also said that the state's agricultural output supports nearly 190,000 Hoosier jobs. Of those jobs, 103,000 are directly involved in crop production and processing.

"It is understandable why Indiana's agricultural industries have been encouraged to expand in the past decade. The pastoral scenes along Indiana highways are more than just fields of corn and soybeans or barns of hogs and chickens. Those scenes represent the livelihoods of some 190,000 Hoosiers," said co-author Tanya Hall, an economic research analyst at the IBRC.

Approximately 83 percent of Indiana's geography, 19.4 million acres, is devoted to farming or forests.

Agricultural activities alone, such as the production of crops or livestock and the manufacturing of processed goods, accounted for $25.4 billion in economic output. Ripple effects accounted for another $12.5 billion as it included the purchase of supplies from Indiana-based companies ($7.6 billion) and paychecks linked to households of agriculture-related employees ($4.9 billion).

"From creating jobs to contributing to the state's GDP, agriculture is an important industry in our state. This study helps draw attention to how big of an impact agriculture has on our economy," said Jane Ade Stevens, chief executive officer of the Indiana Soybean Alliance, which provided funding for the study.

The commodity with the greatest amount of output was eggs, about 6.5 billion were produced, followed by 3.5 billion pounds of milk, or 353.9 million gallons. However, the commodities with the highest total production value were grains such as non-silage corn, oats and wheat, with a total value of $13.9 billion; and soybeans (also known as oilseeds), valued at $2.8 billion.

Farming of these crops accounted for more than half of all workers in Indiana agriculture, more than 54,000 jobs, and ripple effects supported another 29,800 jobs around the state. Hog and other animal production had the next largest total employment impact with 16,930 jobs.

The economic activity related to Indiana agriculture and forestry created about $970 million in state and local revenue and nearly $1.5 billion in federal collections.

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