BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Agriculture continues to be essential to
the Hoosier state, and trade in foreign markets has only enhanced that
significance, shows a study of the economic impact of Indiana’s agricultural
exports by the Indiana Business Research Center in Indiana University’s Kelley
School of Business.
The study found the economic impact of agriculture, one of
Indiana’s largest industries, and its growing role in exports. Indiana
agricultural exports are beneficial to farmers, workers, communities and the
In 2010, Indiana had $3.4 billion in commodities and
processed goods exported, making up 10 percent of all state exports.
The study also found that more than 100,000 Hoosiers worked
on 62,000 farms statewide or in agricultural processing and food manufacturing
in 2010. The combined effects of agriculture exports resulted in an increase in
farm prices and income, as well as supported 34,800 jobs statewide.
Indiana now is recognized as the eighth-leading agriculture
exporter in the nation.
Phil Paarlberg, an agriculture economics professor at Purdue
University, said exporting certain items is critical to Indiana farm income.
The U.S. exports corn, soybeans, pork and wheat, and a large
share of ag product exports goes to Asian markets. Soybeans and related products
accounted for half of Indiana’s agricultural exports in 2010, totaling $1.7
“In terms of Indiana farm income, exporting corn, soybeans
and products and pork is critical,” Paarlberg said. “While the (porcine epidemic
diarrhea virus) spread has been getting cited as the reason for the high pork
and hog prices, the strong export performance for pork also plays a
The impact of agricultural trade was highlighted recently on
an Asian trade mission by Indiana officials, including Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann,
and Hoosier agriculture industry representatives.
“We’re blessed to have plentiful food and be able to share
those resources with the world,” Ellspermann said. “Indiana and the U.S.
continue to support the growing world population and growing middle class with
pork and poultry and other exports.”
The concern about feeding a growing population stems from
the world population expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050.
Indiana agriculture benefits by maintaining good
relationships and keeping communication open with these countries, said Shelley
McDaniel, treasurer of Indiana Soybean Alliance.
“We are supporting our growing economy here in Indiana by
developing relationships in these countries,” she said.
Indiana’s agricultural exports will continue to benefit the
state as efforts to expand existing export markets increase.
The goal in the future is to expand existing markets, as
well as open new ones. Doing these things should have significant positive
ripple effects through Indiana economy, the report said.