Report shows economic value of state ag, forestry industries

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A new report commissioned by AgriGrowth and more than two dozen Minnesota agricultural groups shows that agriculture and forestry contribute $37.1 billion in value to the state’s economy and provides more than 388,000 jobs.

The  2020 Economic Contribution Study of Minnesota Agriculture and Forestry report was conducted by Decision Innovation Solutions, an economic research and analysis firm base in Urbandale, Iowa.

According to the study, agriculture, agri-food, forestry and related industries in Minnesota in 2020 are estimated to contribute $37.1 billion in total value added; 388,134 jobs; $105.6 billion in output (sales); and $21.4 billion in household income.

“The results of this study indicate that although there have been challenging times in the agriculture, agri-food, and forestry industry, it is still a significant part of Minnesota’s economy, supporting about 1 in every 10 jobs across Minnesota,” the executive summary noted.

The report further breaks down the data to show each industry’s contribution. Of the $37.1 billion total and 388,134 jobs, crop production and related industries contributed $8.7 billion in value added and 84,648 jobs. Livestock production and related industries contributed $9.9 billion in value added and 126,218 jobs. Forestry production and related industries contributed $7.3 billion in value added and 67,956 jobs. Processing and other agriculture and related industries contributed $11.1 billion in value added 109,312 jobs.

Analysts used a combination of data from the USDA 2017 Census of Agriculture, USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service datasets, and the IMPLAN modeling system and data (2018). They patterned their analysis after other agriculture economic studies completed by Decision Innovation Solutions for the states of Alabama, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and South Dakota.

Other data included in the report:

Top 3 rankings. Minnesota agriculture as of 2019 was ranked among the Top 3 states in the nation for red kidney bean production, sugarbeet production, turkeys raised (#1); turkeys value of production, hogs and pigs value, market hog inventory, green peas production, on-farm grain storage capacity, sweet corn production, wild rice (#2); soybean production, pig crops, spring wheat production, oat production, sunflower for oil production, total grain storage capacity, and vegetables area harvested (#3).

Top 10 rankings. Overall, Minnesota is currently ranked in the top ten states for canola production, red meat production, corn production, all wheat production, barley production, milk cows inventory, dry edible beans value of production, milk goats inventory, principal crops total value, honey production, barley production, vegetable production, off-farm grain storage capacity, potato production, total cash receipts (2017), cash rent for cropland, total value of agricultural exports (2017), cattle on feed inventory, planted acreage of principal crops, milk production, number of USDA Certified Organic Farms (2017), cheese production, harvested acres of principal crops, net farm income (2017), milk replacement heifer inventory, number of farms, steers 500 pounds and over, ethanol production capacity.

County rankings. In ranking counties for their value-added contributions to ag and forestry industries, Hennepin County leads the way with more than $4.3 billion in its value-added contribution. Ramsey, Dakota, Stearns, Blue Earth, Rice and Washington counties have value added contributions from ag and forestry industries of more than $1 billion.

Ag jobs by county. Of the more than 388,000 jobs related to ag and forestry in Minnesota, Hennepin County accounts for 8.9% (more than 34,000). Within this county, there are more than 21,000 people employed in processing and other agriculture industries and more than 8,000 employed in the forestry sector. Ramsey County employs more than 8,000 people in processing and other agriculture industries. Stearns County has more 10,500 jobs in the livestock sector.

Read the full report online.

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