Study: Iowa Pork Industry Remains Important To Economy

Northwest Iowa — May is Beef Month, but a new study has just been released detailing the impact of another meat that’s big in northwest Iowa — pork.

The new study commissioned by the Iowa Pork Producers Association shows the state’s pork industry continues to be a key contributor to the rural Iowa and the state economy.

The industry contributed $36.7 billion in sales in 2015.

The study says the sales total included $12.2 billion in added value beyond the $24.5 billion cost of inputs. There were 141,813 jobs associated with the pork industry in 2015, with nearly 52 percent in production alone. It found that one in nearly 12 working Iowans has a job tied to the pork industry.

The industry produced $8.3 billion in labor income, contributed $756.4 million in state and local taxes and $1.56 billion in federal taxes in 2015.

The study also found that average hog inventory per county is 206,623 head, while the average number of hog farms per county is 63. This results in an average inventory per Iowa hog farm of 3,265 head.

Iowa’s pork industry relies heavily on the ability of corn and soybean farmers to produce abundant supplies to feed pigs and the study looked at how many acres of Iowa cropland is dedicated to feeding pigs in Iowa.

Hogs raised in Iowa consume grain raised on more than 5.7 million acres: 3.3 million acres of corn and Dried Distillers Grain with Solubles; and 2.4 million acres of soybeans. Overall, pigs eat about a quarter of the acres planted to corn and soybeans in the state.

The study also looked at what the construction and operations effects of a new, 2,400-head wean-to-finish hog barn in Iowa would be on the local and state economy.

It found that a new barn would generate 14.6 jobs, provide more than $869,000 in labor income; $1.1 million in value added and $2.3 million in sales.

Click here for more information, or you can contact Iowa State University Swine Specialist Dave Stender at 712-225-6196.

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