AgDM newsletter article, March 2007

Publications feature the economic impact of agriculture in Iowa counties

Agriculture is a large part of Iowa’s economic structure. Now two Iowa State University (ISU) Extension specialists have developed a set of fact sheets that provide county-specific numbers on the role of agriculture plays in the economy of Iowa and each of the state’s counties.

 “While the statewide numbers are impressive, the report indicates that in many of the more rural parts of the state, agriculture and ag-related businesses are the major activity,” said Dan Otto, ISU Extension economist and one of the authors.

 “The research points out that agriculture is more than farm-level production. Related activities include inputs and services, agricultural processing and secondary spending with main street businesses. The report is a good reminder of the important relationship between rural communities and agriculture here in Iowa,” he said.

The publications offer statistics on the agricultural industry in each of the state’s 99 counties along with specific economic analyses of livestock, corn and soybean production in comparison to the non-agriculture industry.

The analysis for these publications was drawn from a more detailed report prepared by Otto and Mark Imerman with assistance from Dave Swenson and Liesl Eathington. The report was funded by The Coalition to Support Iowa Farmers and is available at:

The next U.S. Census of Agriculture will be conducted in 2007, and the economists expect to update this series of publications once the Census results are made available.

The publications are available only on the Web at To go directly to the publication, enter PM2023 in the search box in the upper right corner of the screen, then click on the red “Download in PDF format.” This will bring up a map of Iowa and a list of counties. Click on the county name in the list or on the map that you are interested in and a copy of that publication will appear.

A link to these publications is available on the Related Web Sites page on Ag Decision Maker.

Daniel Otto, Economics, (515) 294-6147,
Mark Imerman, Economics, (515) 294-5781,
Jean McGuire, Continuing Education and Communication Services, (515) 294-7033,


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