The value of Nebraska’s 2017 corn crop is $5.55 billion and the soybean crop is $2.95 billion according to recent USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS) estimates. The corn production value is third-highest in the nation, falling behind Iowa at $9 billion and Illinois at $7.7 billion, and the soybean crop value is the fifth-largest. The figure below shows the values of Nebraska’s corn and soybean crops since 2010. The 2017 corn crop value is lower compared to 2016, but the soybean crop value is slightly higher. The corn crop value exceeded $9 billion in 2011, but has since fallen to where it has been around $6 billion or less in recent years. On the other hand, the value of the soybean crop has consistently hovered around $3 billion through the years. The drop in corn prices and acres in production are both reflected in the lower crop values for corn. Soybean prices have also come down, but increases in acres and higher yields have mitigated the effects on overall crop value. Continue reading →
International trade and foreign markets are critical to Nebraska agriculture. To get a sense of which Nebraska counties are most reliant on international trade, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture has created a map showing export values by county for select commodities (see below). Commodities included are beef and beef products, corn, dairy products, distillers grains, ethanol, pork and pork products, pulses, sorghum, soybeans and soybean products and wheat. The map was created using 2015 Nebraska cash receipts data and attributing shares to counties based on county production data. Platte County topped the state with export values of $245 million. Custer, Holt, Boone and Cuming Counties fall in the next tier with export values between $125-$150 million. Most counties in Nebraska generate at least $25 million in export values, which no doubt contributes significantly to their local economies.
The top counties stand to gain the most from increased access to foreign markets. Free trade agreements with Mexico, Canada, Korea, Colombia and others, while benefitting all counties, have been particularly beneficial to these counties. An analysis last year of the benefits of the TransPacific Partnership (TPP) by Nebraska Farm Bureau showed many of these same counties would have benefited from the $378 million in increased receipts Nebraska was projected to receive under the agreement. The map clearly demonstrates it is in the interest of Nebraska agriculture to continue to press for more open international markets in agricultural products.
Jay Rempe is the senior economist for Nebraska Farm Bureau. Rempe’s background in agricultural economics, years of experience in advocating at the state capitol, and firm grasp of issues allow him to quantify the fiscal impact of a regulatory proposal, and provide in-depth examination of key issues affecting Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers.