Tricia Braid

Feb 26, 2015  |  Today's News

Corn is Illinois' #1 crop. The value of the crop doesn't just support your families, but also your communities and beyond. IL Corn, through our involvement with the Illinois Livestock Development Group, joined with other ag groups to support a research study that outlines the economic impact of agriculture. The results are available by Congressional district. We hope that information will be helpful when you speak with your elected officials.

A new study of agriculture in Illinois shows agriculture is a critical component of Illinois’ overall economic well-being, contributing about $120.9 billion of total economic output — more than several other Illinois industries, including the financial, transportation and construction industries.

The study, commissioned by the Illinois Livestock Development Group (ILDG) with cooperation from Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB), Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB), and Illinois Soybean Association (ISA), was conducted by Decision Innovation Solutions (DIS) of Urbandale, Iowa. The analysis is based on a combination of datasets from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) 2012 Census of Agriculture and the IMPLAN modeling system.

“We’re happy to have the opportunity to partner with so many of Illinois’ commodity groups to have this study done,” said Jim Fraley, coordinator, ILDG. “It really confirms what farmers and farm organizations have long asserted — that Illinois agriculture is integral to our state’s economy. Agriculture is so closely connected to a large set of related industries that a jolt to any one of them would have significant negative effects.”

“Illinois farmers were the top soybean producing state for the second year in a row in 2014  and the Illinois Agriculture Economic Contribution Study reinforces the economic value Illinois soybean farmers provide to the state, both in urban and rural areas,” added Duane Dahlman, soybean farmer from Marengo, and ISA Marketing Committee chairman. “ISA became involved with this study to help reinforce Illinois' role as a leading agriculture state.”

Key findings in the study include:

  • In 2012, production agriculture and agriculture-related industries accounted for 432,831 jobs, or about 1 in every 17 jobs in Illinois.
  • Twenty-four of Illinois’ counties derive at least one third of their total output from agriculture and agriculture-related industries.
  • Twelve of Illinois’ counties derive at least one fifth of their total jobs from agriculture and agriculture-related industries.
  • Crop farming is a significant part of agriculture’s economic contribution. Statewide output attributed to crop production and further processing is more than $56.7 billion and is responsible for 197,353 jobs.
  • Livestock farming also is a significant part of agriculture’s economic contribution. Statewide output attributed to livestock production and further processing is $14.1 billion and is responsible for 52,124 jobs.

“When we have a handle on the positive economic contributions that Illinois' family farmers bring to their communities locally and at the state level we can put into perspective the true value of changes in policies and regulations at all levels,” explained Lou Lamoreux, a grain and livestock farmer who also is ICMB Chairman. “Given the changes recently in the farm economy and the outlook for a few tough years on the way, the data in this study should be carefully considered and shared within agriculture and beyond.”

The study also includes information about Illinois output by industry, Illinois jobs by industry, and Illinois total value added by industry. Additionally, the analysis includes information regarding which counties and Illinois Congressional districts derive the largest share of the jobs and economic output from agriculture and related industries. All of the information is expressed as both numbers and percentages.

The complete study can be found at