Surveying Georgia’s $76 Billion
According to the 2020 Georgia Ag Snapshot, the agricultural industry supports $76 billion in output within Georgia’s economy. For anyone seeking any information about agriculture’s vast impact on the state’s economy, this annual publication and the Farm Gate Value Report published by the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness & Economic Development (CAED) deliver that insight.
The University of Georgia CAED combines the missions of research and extension by providing customized economic studies, agricultural and demographic data for private and public decision makers, and by conducting analysis related to policy issues in Georgia agriculture and providing that information to relevant decision makers.
Reports by CAED are crucial to not only the UGA academic community but inform legislators, economic development entities, and the Department of Agriculture in the state. In order to determine how much economic activity is supported by food and fiber sectors in the Peach State, CAED relies on analysis in IMPLAN to determine the linkages between the state’s farmers and the overall economy.
What They Learned
In the 2020 Ag Snapshot, CAED determined that food and fiber production and related industries represented $76 billion in output to Georgia’s $1.07 trillion economy and more than 399,200 jobs in the economy. The role of these industries and the related output and employment often play into critical decisions for legislation, funding decisions, and more.
Their IMPLAN analysis provided greater insight into the contribution of agricultural production in the state. Take for example, peanuts and cotton production in Georgia. US Department of Agriculture statistics establish that more than half of US peanuts are produced in Georgia, and Georgia is the second largest producer of cotton in the country. By conducting the Farm Gate Value Survey, CAED was able to conclude that “row & forage crops” (eg. peanuts, cotton, corn, etc.) accounted for $2.23 billion in production in 2018. Using this production value plus the production in the analyst’s selected related industries, economists found that this group of crops contributes $11.4 billion and 81,800 jobs to the state’s economy. The Ag Snapshot demonstrates these figures for 8 different agricultural groups.
The contribution analyses also identified backward linked industries affected by agriculture and related industries. CAED provided the total employment supported and ranked the 10 industries with employment most affected. They are:
Top 10 Industries Affected by Agriculture by Employment
|Landscape and horticultural services||53,350|
|All other crop farming||44,637|
|Support activities for agriculture and forestry||14,793|
|Forestry, forest products and timber tract production||10,213|
|Poultry and egg production||6,948|
|Vegetable and melon farming||6,745|
Wrapping It Up
It comes as no surprise that agriculture is crucial to the economic health of the Peach State, but a focus on sales prices and production alone does give a true portrait of the sizable impact of ag. In addition to producing formal reports, CAED engages the public with an interactive map highlighting each Georgia county and the data sourced from the most recent Ag Snapshot. The map has been very successful in garnering attention and was accessed over 6,000 times in the last year.
By performing contribution analyses in IMPLAN, the University of Georgia’s Center for Agribusiness & Economic Development takes their research a step beyond survey results. CAED’s extensive data collection makes them the foremost authority on agricultural value in the state of Georgia, and pairing that with IMPLAN’s powerful economic modeling software ensures that are always arming decision makers with the best possible economic studies.
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