Livestock Production Value and Economic Impact for Nebraska Counties

Cornhusker Economics June 13, 2018Livestock Production Value and Economic Impact for Nebraska Counties

By Glennis McClure and Brad Lubben

Livestock production provides a significant economic impact in Nebraska. In 2016, 56 percent of all agriculture commodity sales in Nebraska were attributed to livestock and the industry accounted for over 50 percent of agricultural commodity sales each year since the 2012. This article provides an analysis of livestock production value and corresponding direct economic impact per county. The analysis estimates the direct economic impact of livestock production is $8.5 billion and the total impact of livestock production in Nebraska is $13.8 billion.

To calculate the direct economic impact, 2016 livestock sales receipts were adjusted by subtracting livestock and poultry purchases. According to the 2016 USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) data, livestock sales receipts in Nebraska totaled $12.1 billion and livestock and poultry purchases totaled $3.67 billion. This data is the most recent and complete report available of statewide numbers.

However, the ERS data does not include a breakdown of receipts by county. The most recent county data is available from the 2012 U.S. Census of Agriculture report. The 2016 state totals were calculated using the proportion of state receipts reported by each county in 2012. The direct economic impact by county is shown in Table 1.

The livestock industry plays a role beyond its direct impact, adding to the total economic impact within the agricultural industry when taking into account crop producers, food processors, wholesalers, and transportation businesses. A 2012 University of Nebraska–Lincoln Department of Agricultural Economics report, “The 2010 Economic Impact of the Nebraska Agricultural Production Complex,” found that for each $1 in direct economic impact from livestock, an additional $0.62 in sales is generated outside the agriculture production complex. Using this multiplier, the total impact from livestock production across Nebraska equals $13.8 billion. Table 1 includes the total impact from livestock production by county.

In addition, the 2012 report stated that livestock production in Nebraska provides a significant employment impact with over 41,000 jobs directly related to it. The estimate of $13.8 billion is conservative in that it does not include these economic impacts in related sectors nor the wage income in those sectors, but it does clearly demonstrate the significance of the livestock sector to Nebraska agriculture and to each county in the state.

Forty-nine percent of all Nebraska farms and ranches are involved in some type of livestock or poultry enterprise. As of January 1, 2018, the state ranked first in the nation with cattle in feedlots with a capacity of more than 1,000 head. According to 2017 ERS data, Nebraska was first in commercial red meat production and second among all states in both cash receipts from all livestock and products and the number of raised cattle and calves.

Livestock production and sales are a significant part of the economy in a majority of Nebraska counties. Of the top ten Nebraska counties in overall agricultural sales, eight of those counties have over 60 percent of their agricultural sales from livestock sales and production (Table 2). Cuming County ranks number one in agricultural sales and 87 percent comes from livestock production activities, primarily cattle feeding. With a 62 percent multiplier added to show the impact of sales generated outside the agricultural complex, livestock production in Cuming County generates over $1.1 billion of economic impact.

Cattle and calves raised and cattle on feed make up nearly 90 percent of all livestock production value in Nebraska over the last decade. Cattle and calves sold totaled 86 percent of all livestock receipts in 2012 and 90 percent in 2016. Other livestock, including hog sales and poultry, lagged behind cattle considerably with just over $1.1 billion of the total livestock sales of $12 billion in 2016 (Table 3). Both receipts of hog and poultry sales declined from the 2012 Census of Agriculture to 2016, which may be due in part to lower hog prices and the fact that the avian influenza that hit Nebraska in 2015 affected poultry production numbers going into 2016. With potential for further expansion and recent contract grower opportunities opening up in Nebraska, it is anticipated that hog and poultry production could make up a larger share of livestock receipts in years to come.

Note

This study utilized the 2012 U.S. Census of Agriculture report of sales of livestock, poultry, and their products for each Nebraska county collected by NASS (available in online reports at agcensus.usda.gov or by query at quickstats.nass.usda.gov). The study also relied on annual cash receipts and value added for 2016 reported by ERS (available at ers.usda.gov/data-products/farm-income-and-wealth-statistics). Since 2016 data were only available at the state level, the 2016 state totals were prorated by county according to the proportion of state receipts reported by county in 2012. This methodology will not accurately reflect any changing trends in local production since 2012, but does provide insight into economic impacts of livestock production at the county level across Nebraska. Up-to-date detail at the county level should be available when the 2017 Census of Agriculture data now being collected is reported in early 2019, although certain data by species may still be unavailable due to limited responses or privacy disclosure limitations.

Table 1. Economic Impact of Livestock Production per Nebraska County
CountiesDirect Economic Impact Based on 2016 Livestock Receipts ($1,000's)Total Economic Impact of Livestock Production ($1,000's)
Nebraska 8,509,026 13,784,623
Adams 113,334 183,602
Antelope 202,736 328,433
Arthur 16,203 26,249
Banner 64,660 104,750
Blaine 21,104 34,188
Boone 188,449 305,287
Box Butte 95,017 153,928
Boyd 31,946 51,753
Brown 113,510 183,886
Buffalo 89,272 144,620
Burt 55,771 90,349
Butler 66,524 107,768
Cass 6,667 10,800
Cedar 164,102 265,846
Chase 168,526 273,012
Cherry 121,368 196,616
Cheyenne 84,318 136,595
Clay 104,253 168,889
Colfax 161,633 261,846
Cuming 684,642 1,109,120
Custer 401,743 650,823
Dakota 5,643 9,142
Dawes 39,691 64,300
Dawson 394,822 639,612
Deuel 21,915 35,502
Dixon 71,310 115,521
Dodge 93,133 150,875
Douglas 2,795 4,528
Dundy 65,298 105,783
Fillmore 53,472 86,624
Franklin 11,230 18,193
Frontier 42,514 68,873
Furnas 60,500 98,010
Gage 50,615 81,996
Garden 55,129 89,309
Garfield 30,680 49,701
Gosper 21,084 34,156
Grant 21,067 34,129
Greeley 74,276 120,328
Hall 87,449 141,668
Hamilton 58,940 95,484
Harlan 70,621 114,406
Hayes 65,545 106,184
Hitchcock 15,081 24,432
Holt 223,364 361,849
Hooker 11,188 18,124
Howard 97,638 158,174
Jefferson 60,346 97,761
Johnson 22,425 36,329
Kearney 127,708 206,887
Keith 65,350 105,867
Keya Paha 56,680 91,821
Kimball 7,316 11,852
Knox 159,418 258,258
Lancaster 22,589 36,594
Lincoln 376,753 610,340
Logan 11,466 18,574
Loup 17,676 28,635
McPherson 17,626 28,555
Madison 112,252 181,848
Merrick 82,936 134,356
Morrill 168,089 272,304
Nance 53,784 87,131
Nemaha 8,393 13,597
Nuckolls 22,322 36,162
Otoe 18,306 29,656
Pawnee 13,381 21,677
Perkins 36,893 59,767
Phelps 345,285 559,361
Pierce 82,813 134,157
Platte 301,956 489,169
Polk 115,785 187,572
Red Willow 71,310 115,521
Richardson 34,218 55,432
Rock 42,560 68,947
Saline 26,885 43,554
Sarpy 11,354 18,394
Saunders 113,574 183,989
Scotts Bluff 166,702 270,057
Seward 90,523 146,647
Sheridan 60,919 98,688
Sherman 26,288 42,587
Sioux 84,592 137,039
Stanton 85,889 139,140
Thayer 45,950 74,439
Thomas 16,311 26,424
Thurston 75,732 122,687
Valley 79,772 129,231
Washington 44,280 71,734
Wayne 80,256 130,014
Webster 98,323 159,283
Wheeler 163,333 264,599
York 81,929 132,724

Table 2. Top 10 Nebraska Counties in Market Value of Agricultural Products Sold
Counties2012 Total Sales ($1,000's)2012 Livestock Sales ($1,000's)Livestock Sales %Direct Economic Impact from livestock based on 2016 Receipts ($1,000's)Total Economic Impact from livestock including 62% multiplier ($1,000's)
Cuming 1,081,302 941,300 87 684,642 1,109,120
Custer 845,305 552,348 65 401,743 650,823
Dawson 826,281 542,833 66 394,822 639,612
Lincoln 782,661 517,990 66 376,753 610,340
Phelps 738,795 474,725 64 345,285 559,361
Platte 652,952 415,153 64 301,956 489,169
Holt 636,353 307,098 48 223,364 361,849
Antelope 535,116 278,738 52 202,736 328,433
Boone 453,395 259,094 57 188,449 305,287
Adams 417,956 155,821 37 113,334 183,602

Table 3. Nebraska Receipts Data Totals by Livestock Category 2012 and 2016
Nebraska 2012 Census of Ag Livestock Sales ($1,000's)Nebraska 2016 Livestock Receipts ($1,000's)
Total Receipts from ALL Livestock, Poultry, and their products 11,690,823 12,147,374
Cattle and calves sold 10,098,166 10,976,167
Hog sales 1,085,828 733,512
Dairy sales 219,724 235,248
Poultry sales 216,370 130,453
All Other Livestock Sales* 70,734 71,994

Sources:

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. “Annual Cash Receipts by Commodity,” 2018, Washington, D.C.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. “Value Added to the U.S. Economy by the Agricultural Sector, 2010 – 2016,” 2018, Washington, D.C.

U.S. Department of Agriculture – National Agricultural Statistics Service, Census of Agriculture, 2012, Washington, D.C.

Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Nebraska Agriculture Fact Card, Feb. 2018, Lincoln, Nebraska.

 

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Glennis McClure
Associate Extension Educator
Department of Agricultural Economics
402-472-0661
gmcclure3@unl.edu

Bradley Lubben
Extension Associate Professor
Department of Agricultural Economics
blubben2@unl.edu

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