U.S. corn exports generate $74.7 billion in annual economic output, with benefits that extend well beyond the nation's farmlands, according to a new analysis conducted by Informa Economics IEG.
"Whether in the form of feed, ethanol, meat or dairy, corn drives a large part of the U.S. farm economy. U.S. corn exports benefit not only farmers and ranchers but the nation's economy as a whole," Philip McCoun, KyCorn Promotion Council Chairman. "The far reaching impact of corn exports demonstrates why it is critical American farmers and ranchers have access to international markets; we need global trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership that enable us to compete on a more level playing field."
The study, which was commissioned by the National Corn Growers Association, of which Kentucky Corn Growers is a member, and the U.S. Grains Council, quantifies the economic contributions and benefits of the export of corn, ethanol, the co-product dried distillers grains (DDGs), corn gluten feed and the corn equivalent of meats. Additionally, it shows these benefits not only at the national level but also the state and, in some cases, by congressional district.
According to the analysis, the export of corn and corn products increased the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) by $29.8 billion over what would have occurred without such exports. The number of full-time equivalent jobs linked directly or indirectly to corn exports totaled 332,787. For every one job directly involved in the export of grain and grain products, an additional 6.9 jobs are created in the U.S. economy. Industries most impacted by this job creation include full- and limited-service restaurants, hospitals, employment services, real estate and wholesale trade.
For every $1 million in exports of corn, ethanol, DDGS, corn gluten feed and the corn equivalent of meat exports, 8 jobs and $0.6 million of Gross State Product (GSP) are added within Kentucky. The positive economic effects of corn exports benefit not only agriculture, but also wholesale trade, real estate, oil and natural gas production, banking and financial industries.
There are also negative consequences to reducing exports of corn and ethanol. If U.S. corn and corn product exports were suddenly halted, more than 40,000 jobs and $2.5 billion in GDP would be lost at the farm, ethanol production and meat production levels alone - before accounting for losses in related industries.
This study underscores the need for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an international trade agreement that will expand farmers' market access to the Asia-Pacific region.
"Passage of TPP would open a world of opportunity to America's farmers and ranchers. Conversely, the failure to move forward would have negative consequences for our farm families," said Philip. "Let's grow America's economy again. The women and men who grow and raise our food lose markets every day we delay TPP, and the reverberations can be felt throughout the farm economy.