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Why Indiana soybean farmers care about livestock producers

CONSUME SOYBEANS, DRIVE AGRICULTURE: Numbers on tons of soybean meal consumed and dollars generated for agriculture prove Indiana’s livestock operations play a key role.
These figures don’t lie — Indiana livestock operations are a major consumer of soybean products.

If you have wondered why the Indiana Soybean Alliance often invests in projects related to animal agriculture, wonder no longer. Livestock producers remain one of the major customers for soybean meal produced from Indiana soybeans. Dollars generated by animal agriculture in Indiana help drive the agricultural economy, which helps Indiana agriculture as a whole.

There are numbers to back up these statements. Megan Kuhn, communications specialist with the Indiana Soybean Alliance, recently supplied statistics that indicate just how strong these ties are in Indiana. She refers to 2014 data, the latest information available for some of the categories reported.

In 2014, Indiana ranked 10th in the U.S. in soybean usage for livestock feed, Kuhn notes. Indiana’s livestock operations consumed 990,400 tons of soybean meal that year.

A sizable percentage of that total was fed to hogs, but other types of livestock are important in consuming soybean meal as well. In fact, less than half the soybean meal fed to Indiana livestock was consumed by hogs.

Estimates peg consumption of soybean meal by hogs at just over 400,000 tons. The next two largest consumers of soybean meal in Indiana in 2014 were egg-laying hens, eating 169,500 tons, and turkeys, gobbling up 161,000 tons.

Economic driver
Animal agriculture is a major contributor to not only the agricultural economy, but also Indiana’s economy in general, Kuhn notes. Economic statistics indicating the importance of animal agriculture to the state are measured in the billions in some categories.

For example, in 2014, $7.3 billion in economic output accrued from Indiana’s animal agriculture when the industry was considered as a whole. The industry was responsible for supporting more than 38,000 jobs, and producing $1.3 billion in household earnings for Indiana families.

How does that result in economic value for the state as a whole? One way to measure it is in the amount of money generated in tax revenue. In 2014, animal agriculture was responsible for an estimated $298 million in tax receipts.

Learn more about the importance of various species of animal agriculture in Indiana at, and check out the infographic below.

Indiana soybean farmers and animal ag infographic

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