Iowa agriculture is making significant contributions to the economy of the state and nation. This is the week to take a moment to honor agricultrure. In recent years America celebrates the first day of spring by recognizing the contributions American agriculture provides to the necessities of everyday life – food, fiber, clothing and even fuel. National Ag Week is being celebrated March 16-22 all across the United States, and Friday, March 20, has been designated National Ag Day by the Agriculture Council of America, which hosts the campaign nationally. Corn, soybeans, cattle and hogs dominate Iowa production of primary agricultural commodities. These four commodities consistently account for nearly 90% of Iowa farm marketing receipts.
Iowa important in feeding, fueling our nation
Iowans can celebrate the fact that Iowa's production of these commodities is extremely important to national supply. In 2003 Iowa generated more than one-fifth of the hogs and the corn sold in the United States and nearly one-sixth of the soybeans. Iowa is consistently the third largest supplier of agricultural commodities (by value of market receipts), following California and Texas, according to research conducted by Iowa State University Extension economists. "Iowa agricultural producers benefit each other, as well as benefiting the local economy," said Gerald Miller, director of ISU Extension to Agriculture and Natural Resources. "Iowa's crop and livestock producers offer each other key resources. Corn and soybean crops feed the livestock, which in turn provides manure nutrients for these same crops. Having access to these inputs locally is a real savings to producers as the cost to transport goods increases."
Huge positive impact on state's economy
Along with making use of the local resources, beef, swine, dairy and poultry operations have a positive impact on the state's economy.
• The Iowa Beef Center reports that the production and processing of an average 1,000-head beef feedlot supports 24 jobs and creates sales of $6.9 million.
• The economic impact of producing and processing a 2,400-head grow–finish swine operation generally supports 16 jobs and generates $4.3 million in annual sales, according to the Iowa Pork Center.
• The Iowa Dairy Team states that production and processing of a 550-cow dairy farm impacts the local economy in terms of 28 jobs and roughly $6.8 million to the local economy.
• From production through processing a 100,000-laying hen operation provides for 15 jobs and $3.6 million in total sales, says the Iowa Egg Industry Center.