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BUL 892

Economic Contribution of Idaho Agribusiness

Philip Watson

Economic Contribution of Idaho Agribusiness

Gross Contribution of Idaho Agribusiness, 2019

In Idaho in 2019, agribusiness alone (not including linked sectors) contributed

  • $21.0 billion in sales
  • 75,700 Idaho jobs
  • $6.1 billion in value added1

Source: Author calculations using IMPLAN data

image example
Figure 1. Gross Value Added from Agribusiness, 2010–2019. Source: US Bureau of Economic Analysis Regional Data, GDP by State and Industry, 2010–2019.

Base Contribution of Idaho Agribusiness, 2019

In addition to these direct contributions to the Idaho economy, agribusiness exports generate economic activity in other sectors of the Idaho economy. Accounting for these linkages between agribusiness and other sectors, Idaho agribusiness and the economic activity it generates in other sectors accounted for

  • $29.3 billion in sales or over 17% of Idaho’s total economic output
  • 129,500 Idaho jobs or approximately 1 in every 8 jobs in the state
  • $10.5 billion in value added or over 12.5% of total Idaho GSP

Source: Author calculations using IMPLAN data


Definitions

Agribusiness is the vertically integrated industrial complex comprising all production agriculture—crop farming and livestock production—and the processing of agricultural products.

The total economic contribution of agribusiness to the Idaho economy can be described in two ways, using gross values and base values.

Gross values are the government-reported measures of economic activity in agribusiness–output (sales), jobs, and value added. Measuring gross values is an accounting task.

Base values include the agribusiness sector’s export activity and the economic activity it spawns within other sectors and the state economy. The base sales contribution of the agribusiness sector, for example, is calculated as the sector’s sales outside the state times the sector’s multiplier. In gross analysis, the sale of a tire to a wheat producer would be credit to the state economy’s retail trade sector; in base analysis, it would be credit to agribusiness.

In base analysis, the total economic contribution of agribusiness is made up of direct and indirect contributions:

Direct contributions are the jobs, value added, and output attributable to the out-of-state export of crop and livestock products.

Indirect contributions are generated when agribusiness firms purchase materials and services from other Idaho businesses to produce their exports.

Direct and indirect contributions are reported in terms of sales, jobs, wages, and value added:

Sales represent the output of the agribusiness sector.

Jobs represent wage-earning and salaried employees, including self-employed works, in agribusiness.

Wages are payments to workers, including benefits.

Value added is proprietary income and wages plus indirect taxes and other property-type income such as payments for rents, royalties, and dividends. Value added and gross state product (GSP) are equivalent measures in total but are estimated using different methods and data sources.


Contribution of Agribusiness to Idaho’s Economic Base

Table 1. Sales contribution of the agribusiness sector in Idaho, 2019.*
Direct Sales (Domestic and International Exports) Indirect Sales Total
Crop production $2.5 billion $2.2 billion $4.7 billion
Livestock and dairy production $2.9 billion $2.9 billion $5.8 billion
Agricultural processing $9.6 billion $9.2 billion $18.8 billion
Total $15.0 billion $14.3 billion $29.3 billion
*Individual values may not sum to total due to rounding
Table 2. Value added contribution of the agribusiness sector in Idaho, 2019.*
Direct Value Added Indirect Value Added Total
Crop production $1.4 billion $1.2 billion $2.6 billion
Livestock and dairy production $0.9 billion $1.3 billion $2.2 billion
Agricultural processing $1.8 billion $4.0 billion $5.8 billion
Total $4.0 billion $6.5 billion $10.5 billion*
*Individual values may not sum to total due to rounding

Source: Author calculations using IMPLAN data

Agribusiness contributed:

  • $29.3 billion in total sales, which means that agribusiness was responsible for generating 17% of the state’s total sales in 2019.
  • $10.5 billion in value added or 13% of total Idaho GSP.
  • 129,500 jobs, which is approximately 1 in every 8 jobs in the state.
  • $4.6 billion in wages, which is approximately $1 of every $10 of wages paid in the state of Idaho.

Source: Author calculations using IMPLAN data


Agribusiness in Idaho vs. Neighboring States

The agribusiness sector accounts for a greater share of the state economy in Idaho than in all of its neighboring states and the United States as a whole.2

Even without including the indirect effects, agribusiness contributes 7% to Idaho GSP. In comparison to neighboring states, this is

  • 4.3 times greater than in Washington
  • 2.8 times greater than in Oregon
  • 12 times greater than in Nevada
  • 4.5 times greater than in Utah
  • 4 times greater than in Wyoming
  • 2 times greater than in Montana
  • 3.7 times greater than in the United States as a whole

Source: Author calculations using US Bureau of Economic Analysis Regional Data, GDP by State and Industry data, 2019


National Rankings: Crop and Livestock Production

Idaho has been the top producer of potatoes, barley, peppermint oil, and trout among all US states, based on 2019 production levels. Idaho ranks among the top 9 states in production of 28 crop and livestock commodities, including

No. 1 in Potatoes No. 4 in Lentils
No. 1 in Barley No. 4 in Wheat (Spring)
No. 1 in Trout No. 5 in Dry Beans
No. 1 in Peppermint Oil No. 5 in Dry Peas
No. 2 in Sugar Beets No. 6 in Haylage
No. 2 in Hops No. 6 in Wheat (All)
No. 3 in Cheese No. 7 in Corn (Silage)
No. 3 in Milk No. 7 in Wheat (Winter)
No. 3 in Alfalfa No. 7 in Sheep and Lambs
No. 3 in Milk Cows No. 8 in Wool
No. 4 in Onions No. 9 in Hay (All)

Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2020 Idaho Annual Statistical Bulletin


National Rankings: Gross Production and Market Value of Agricultural Products Sold

According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, Idaho ranked

  • No. 21 in value of crops sold, including nursery and greenhouse
  • No. 17 in value of livestock, poultry, and their products
  • No. 20 in total value of agricultural products sold and had 24,996 farms on 11,691,912 acres (22.1% of Idaho’s total 52,891,860 acres)

In 2019, Idaho cash receipts from all agricultural commodities totaled approximately $8.43 billion, with approximately $5.05 billion from animals and their products and $3.37 billion from crops.

Source: US Bureau of Economic Analysis, CAINC45 Farm Income and Expenses, 2019


Idaho Agricultural Exports

Idaho ranked 21st nationally in total international agricultural exports in 2020, with a value of $2.315 billion. Plant product exports accounted for $1.56 billion of total Idaho agricultural exports and animal product exports accounted for $754 million.

Idaho ranked in the top five in the nation for international exports of four major commodities:

  • No. 3 in dairy, with international exports valued at $473.7 million
  • No. 4 in fresh vegetables, with international exports valued at $160.3 million
  • No. 4 in processed vegetables, with international exports valued at $264.6 million
  • No. 5 in wheat, with international exports valued at $392.3 million

Source: USDA Economic Research Service, 2020


Agricultural Commodities: Gross Receipts and Production

Table 3. Cash receipts for Idaho’s crop and livestock commodities, 2020.
Commodity Cash Receipts, 2020 Nominal (Current Dollars, Thousands)
Dairy products, Milk 2,979,328
Cattle and calves 1,583,060
Potatoes 924,713
Wheat, all 549,710
Hay 459,679
Barley 260,647
Misc. Crops 427,947
Sugar Beets 333,585
Corn 126,463
All other animals and products 65,875
Dry edible beans
(includes pintos and chickpeas)
63,639
Trout 7,956
Onions 68,331
Peppermint Oil 34,650
Chicken Eggs 55,975
Hogs 20,290
Turkeys 20,437
Mink pelts 5,729
Hops 99,703
Dry edible peas 11,560

Source: USDA Economic Research Service, 2020 Cash Receipts by Commodity


Agricultural Commodities: Production

Table 4. Production and rank of Idaho crop and livestock commodities, 2019.
Commodity Production (Thousands) Units Rank among US States
Barley* 55,120 1,000 bushels 1
Potatoes* 130,900 1,000 cwt 1
Trout* 37,416 value of fish sold 1
Peppermint Oil* 2,040 1,000 pounds 1
Sugar Beets* 6,435 1,000 tons 2
Hops* 17,003 1,000 pounds 2
Cheese 1,008,065 1,000 pounds 3
Dairy Products, Milk 15,631 million pounds 3
Milk cows 635,000 head 3
Hay, alfalfa 4,444 1,000 tons 3
Onion, dry 8,938 1,000 cwt 4
Wheat, spring 39,160 1,000 bushels 4
Lentils 363 1,000 cwt 4
Dry edible beans 1,067 1,000 cwt 5
Dry edible peas 513 1,000 cwt 5
Haylage 1,798 1,000 tons 6
Wheat, all* 98,755 1,000 cwt 6
Corn silage 6,580 1,000 tons 7
Wheat, winter 59,160 1,000 cwt 7
Sheep and lambs 230,000 head 7
Wool 1,500 1,000 pounds 8
Hay, all 5,111 1,000 tons 9
Cattle and calves, all* 2,490,000 head 12
Honey 2,944 1,000 pounds 12
*Among top 25 Idaho commodities in terms of total cash receipts, 2019

Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2019 Idaho Annual Statistical Bulletin, 2019 Production Year


Gross Economic Contribution: Idaho Crops

Idaho’s crops sector includes all activities in the production and support of potatoes, sugar beets, food and feed, grains, hay and pasture, fruits, nuts, vegetables, and oil-bearing crops and support services for crop farming such as custom harvester operations.

Table 5. Gross contribution of crop production to the Idaho economy, 2019.
Jobs 42,000
Wages $1.0 billion
Value Added $2.4 billion

Based on the gross contribution of crop farming to the Idaho economy, crop farming is responsible for

  • 55% of all agribusiness jobs
  • 40% of all agribusiness wages
  • 39% of all agribusiness value added

Source: Author calculations using IMPLAN data


Gross Economic Contribution: Idaho Livestock

Idaho’s animal livestock sector includes the production of beef, dairy products, poultry, eggs, trout, and other animals and their products.

Table 6. Gross contribution of livestock production, including dairy, to the Idaho economy, 2019.
Jobs 11,000
Wages $173 million
Value Added $1.5 billion

Based on the gross contribution of livestock production to the Idaho economy, livestock production is responsible for

  • 15% of all agribusiness jobs
  • 7% of all agribusiness wages
  • 25% of all agribusiness value added

Source: Author calculations using IMPLAN data


Gross Economic Contribution: Idaho Agricultural Processing

Idaho’s agricultural processing sector makes products from both crops and livestock. Examples include grain milling, sugar beet processing, and cheese manufacturing.

Table 7. Gross contribution of agricultural processing to the Idaho economy, 2019.
Jobs 22,800
Wages $1.3 billion
Value Added $2.2 billion

Based on the gross contribution of agricultural processing to the Idaho economy, agricultural processing is responsible for

  • 30% of all agribusiness jobs
  • 53% of all agribusiness wages
  • 36% of all agribusiness value added

Source: Author calculations using IMPLAN data


Indirect Contribution of Agribusiness to Idaho Jobs

Idaho agribusiness operations generated 59,800 jobs in other sectors of the Idaho economy in 2019.

Table 8. Contribution of agribusiness to jobs in other sectors.
Sectors Indirectly Created Jobs
Natural Resource Industries 170
Transportation, Construction, Utilities 6,800
Non-Ag Manufacturing 530
Retail and Wholesale Trade 13,200
Service Industry 38,200
Government 860
Total 59,800

Source: Author calculations using IMPLAN data

Contribution of agribusiness to jobs in other sectors
Figure 2. Contribution of agribusiness to jobs in other sectors. Source: Author calculations using IMPLAN data.

Indirect Contribution of Agribusiness to Value Added

Idaho agribusiness generated $4.4 billion in value added in other sectors of Idaho’s economy in 2020.

Table 9. Contribution of agribusiness to value added in other sectors.
Sectors Indirect Value Added
Natural Resource Industries $6.7 million
Transportation, Construction, Utilities $620 million
Non-Ag Manufacturing $53 million
Retail and Wholesale Trade $1.2 billion
Service Industry $2.9 billion
Government $93 million
Total $4.8 billion

Source: Author calculations using IMPLAN data

Contribution of agribusiness to value added in other sectors
Figure 3. Contribution of agribusiness to value added in other sectors. Source: Author calculations using IMPLAN data.

Idaho’s Top Agribusiness Counties

Table 10. Total cash receipts for agricultural crops and livestock by county.
Agricultural Cash Receipts (Thousands of Dollars)
County Crops Percent of State Total Livestock Percent of State Total Total Ag Cash Receipts
(as percent of state total)
Cassia $784,436 15.50% $271,411 8.00% 12.50%
Gooding $850,591 16.80% $70,762 2.10% 10.90%
Twin Falls $578,203 11.40% $170,552 5.10% 8.90%
Jerome $610,367 12.10% $122,806 3.60% 8.70%
Canyon $306,078 6.10% $338,016 10.00% 7.60%
Bingham $113,629 2.20% $382,004 11.30% 5.90%
Elmore $359,028 7.10% $127,870 3.80% 5.80%
Minidoka $106,209 2.10% $282,344 8.40% 4.60%
Jefferson $141,088 2.80% $187,426 5.50% 3.90%
Owyhee $246,929 4.90% $63,729 1.90% 3.70%
Power $27,114 0.50% $227,065 6.70% 3.00%
Lincoln $192,995 3.80% $45,407 1.30% 2.80%
Payette $136,800 2.70% $53,206 1.60% 2.30%
Bonneville $63,911 1.30% $112,339 3.30% 2.10%
Madison $11,966 0.20% $156,155 4.60% 2.00%
Ada $105,448 2.10% $44,948 1.30% 1.80%
Fremont $22,691 0.40% $123,421 3.70% 1.70%
Caribou $37,327 0.70% $56,738 1.70% 1.10%
Franklin $65,830 1.30% $26,916 0.80% 1.10%
Latah $5,005 0.10% $69,774 2.10% 0.90%
Nez Perce $15,319 0.30% $54,225 1.60% 0.80%
Washington $32,228 0.60% $22,397 0.70% 0.60%
Teton $4,907 0.10% $43,153 1.30% 0.60%
Butte $7,349 0.10% $38,110 1.10% 0.50%
Gem $26,608 0.50% $14,587 0.40% 0.50%
Idaho $18,863 0.40% $22,009 0.70% 0.50%
Bannock $18,469 0.40% $21,906 0.60% 0.50%
Bear Lake $21,467 0.40% $18,821 0.60% 0.50%
Custer $30,680 0.60% $9,319 0.30% 0.50%
Lemhi $30,190 0.60% $6,451 0.20% 0.40%
Oneida $18,983 0.40% $17,317 0.50% 0.40%
Lewis $4,160 0.10% $31,775 0.90% 0.40%
Boundary $4,104 0.10% $29,413 0.90% 0.40%
Camas $4,757 0.10% $24,153 0.70% 0.30%
Clark $7,423 0.10% $20,410 0.60% 0.30%
Blaine $10,207 0.20% $17,583 0.50% 0.30%
Kootenai $4,252 0.10% $18,704 0.60% 0.30%
Benewah $685 0 $18,150 0.50% 0.20%
Adams $10,545 0.20% $3,621 0.10% 0.20%
Valley $9,949 0.20% $930 0.00% 0.10%
Bonner $4,106 0.10% $6,167 0.20% 0.10%
Clearwater $4,747 0.10% $3,260 0.10% 0.10%
Boise $1,158 0.00% $1,749 0.10% 0.00%
Shoshone $121 0.00% $74 0.00% 0.00%

Source: US Bureau of Economic Analysis, CA45 Farm Income and Expenses, 2019


Notes

1Value added is the sum of employee compensation, proprietary income, returns to capital, and indirect business taxes and is a measure of a sector’s contribution to gross state product (GSP). (return to text)

2Based on calculations of the percent contribution of the agribusiness sector to each state’s GSP. (return to text)


References

English, L., J. Popp, and E.W. Miller. 2013. “Economic Contribution of the Agricultural Sector to the Arkansas Economy in 2011.” Research Report 992. Fayetteville: Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

Taylor, G., B. Eborn, P. Watson, and A. Rodriguez. 2012. Contribution of Agribusiness to Idaho’s Economy, 2010. University of Idaho Extension CIS 1186.

Watson, P., S. Cooke, D. Kay, and G. Alward. 2015. A Method for Improving Economic Contribution Studies for Regional Analysis. Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, 45(1):1–15.


About the Author

Philip Watson—Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences


Cover photo courtesy of Ryan Milrad, Unsplash.com.


Issued in furtherance of cooperative extension work in agriculture and home economics, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Barbara Petty, Director of University of Idaho Extension, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho 83844. The University of Idaho has a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age, disability or status as a Vietnam-era veteran.

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