May 6, 2011

Podcast: Nebraska farmers making $2.6 billion investment this spring

In this podcast, Don Hutchens, executive director of the Nebraska Corn Board, notes that Nebraska corn farmers will be making a $2.6 billion investment this spring just to get the corn planted and off to a good start.

"It’s an investment that has a significant economic impact on dozens of businesses in rural communities and, in fact, the entire state," Hutchens said. "It’s also an investment that is subject to Mother Nature and the whims of outside markets."

It's an investment in seed, fertilizer, fuel and all the other inputs it takes to get the crop in the ground and growing. Those have to come from somewhere, and local seed dealers, cooperatives and dozens of others benefit.

It all adds up pretty quickly, to more than $270 on average per acre based on estimates calculated by the University of Nebraska Extension (multiply that by 9.5 million acres USDA said Nebraska farmers will plant this year to reach the $2.6 billion). But that doesn’t tell the whole story, Hutchens said. Those dollars get circulated through communities and the entire state. With a multiplier of 2.5, planting corn this year will actually provide a $6.5 billion economic impact across the state as a whole, he said.

Those estimates don’t include labor or land costs, or the cost of irrigating for those farmers who carefully utilize that resource. It also doesn’t include the expense of harvesting, hauling and storing the final crop. All those costs come later and provide their own economic impact.

And along the way, it provides tremendous job opportunities in many different facets of the agribusiness sector.

For more on this subject, click here.

Nebraska Corn Kernel podcasts are also available on iTunes! Click here to subscribe.

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