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Grain exports important to Michigan's economic output

LANSING, MI - Exports of U.S. feed grains and related products provide critical support across Michigan’s economy, offering millions in direct and indirect economic benefits to Michigan farmers and rural communities and billions to the nation as a whole.

New research commissioned by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) quantified these benefits, showing that exports of Michigan feed grain products supported $628.5 million in economic output for Michigan’s economy, $190 million in gross state product (GSP), and 3,569 jobs in the state’s economy.

Total exports of U.S. feed grain and grain products were worth $18.9 billion in 2015 and supported $55.5 billion in economic output. These exports were linked directly or indirectly to nearly 262,000 jobs and $21 billion in gross domestic product (GDP).

Furthermore, if exports were halted, the analysis indicated that more than 46,000 jobs and $2.6 billion in GDP would be adversely impacted at the farm, ethanol production and meat production levels before accounting for losses in linked industries.

“Expanding international markets for corn, ethanol, DDGS and meats is the best economic avenue available for growing demand” said Tom Durand, president of the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan. “The Corn Marketing Program of Michigan invests our growers’ check-off dollars in the U.S. Grains Council to take advantage of these marketing opportunities. This research helps demonstrate the importance of that work and why our continued investment in export programs is critical for Michigan.”

Informa Economics conducted the study, which examined the economic contributions to each state and 52 congressional districts from exports of corn, barley, sorghum, ethanol, distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), corn gluten feed and meal as well as the corn equivalent of meat on the U.S. economy.

Breaking down the numbers, these results showed that every $1 of grain exports generated supported an additional $2.19 in business sales. And every job directly created by the export of grain and grain products supported an additional 4.7 jobs in the United States.

These indirect and induced business activities extend well beyond the agricultural industry, including the wholesale trade, real estate, oil and natural gas extraction to service sectors including restaurants, hospitals and employment services industries.