(Bloomington, Ind.) – Agriculture drove Indiana’s economy, according to numbers provided in a new Indiana University study.
The IU Indiana Business Research Center report titled “Agriculture’s Bounty: The Economic Contribution of Agriculture” shows agricultural industries contributed $37.9 billion to the Indiana economy in 2011.
The report claims the state's agricultural output supports nearly 190,000 Hoosier jobs. Of those jobs, 103,000 are directly involved in crop production and processing. More than half of all agriculture employees in Indiana, 54,000, worked with crops. Animal production employed nearly 17,000 Hoosiers.
"It is understandable why Indiana's agricultural industries have been encouraged to expand in the past decade," said report co-author Tanya Hall, an economic research analyst at the IBRC. "The pastoral scenes along Indiana highways are more than just fields of corn and soybeans or barns of hogs and chickens. Those scenes represent the livelihoods of some 190,000 Hoosiers."
Among other findings in the report, approximately 83 percent – or 19.4 million acres – of Indiana’s geography is devoted to farming or forests.
Surprisingly, the report found it was eggs, not corn, that had the greatest commodity output at 6.5 billion in 2011. Mile was second with 353.9 million gallons.
Indiana’s most valuable commodities were grains such as non-silage corn, oats and wheat with a total value of $13.9 billion. Soybeans were valued at $2.8 billion.