Wyoming and Colorado are among top five agribusiness-friendly states in America, according to a survey conducted by – ironically – Colorado State University.
The other top placements were South and North Dakota, New Hampshire, says the survey by CSU ag economists Greg Perry and James Pritchett, who developed the Agribusiness Friendliness Index to describe the economic climate for agriculture in various states, which is impacted by climate, local and state government policies, geography and other factors more than other businesses.
The index -- check it out at http://abfi.ag.sci.colostate.edu -- is based on 38 variables, representing regulatory policy, taxes, government efficiency, impact of key government services and the overall state business climate. It follows the method of other key indexes like he State Business Tax Climate Index.
Surprisingly, California – the nation's biggest farm income state – ranked last.
In the West, Montana was ranked 8th and Utah 11th. Washington was 18th, Idaho 21st and Oregon 23rd in terms of a business climate friendly for ag business. Nevada was in the 29th spot.
The index "illustrates the different ways government influences the economic climate of agriculture and its allied businesses," says Perry.
"State government plays a particular role in fostering agribusiness opportunities and influencing cost structures with policies that include regulation, taxes and government services."
Businesses are "acutely aware of the role that state government plays in their success," says Pritchett. "A business-friendly environment will encourage these enterprises to locate or expand operations while unfriendly policies shrink business and may even cause relocation."
The economists divided at activities into four categories and examined variables in each. The team evaluated how each state fared in those categories and used that information to calculate an overall score.
The four categories included:
•Agricultural inputs (fertilizer, chemicals, equipment, seeds, etc).
•Meat and livestock producers
•First level ag processing.