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Study: Corn exports add $282.2 million to Michigan’s economy

WASHINGTON -- 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.

The study, which was commissioned by the National Corn Growers Association, of which the Michigan Corn Growers Association is a member, and the U.S. Grains Council which is partly funded by the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan, 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. In Michigan, that created $81.8 million in gross state product. The number of full-time equivalent jobs linked directly or indirectly to corn exports totaled 332,787 nationwide with 1,088 of those in Michigan. Industries most impacted by this job creation include full- and limited-service restaurants, hospitals, employment services, real estate and wholesale trade.

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.

The full analysis is available online at