Livestock industry is important to Illinois.  Recent data suggests that the Illinois livestock industry puts $25,385 million dollars into the economy in the form of employment (salaries for farmers and farm laborers) and $292 million in taxes on property and buildings.  That’s a substantial chunk of the economic activity in the state.

Lucky for us, the sector is doing well in a time of low economic activity elsewhere.

The Livestock Management Facilities Act in Illinois regulates all livestock farms.  Today, we’re going to specifically talk about the portion of the act that pertains to livestock farms that are expanding or building new facilities in the state of Illinois.  Since January 1, 2012, we have seen over 30 notices of “intent to construct” which means that 30 farmers are planning new livestock operations or planning to expand their current farm.

Adding up those notices, we anticipate 40,000 newly constructed spaces for hogs, 2,000 spaces for beef cattle, and about 3,000 spaces for dairy cattle.  We also see about 4,000 spaces for poultry.

We can assign economic numbers to those animal spaces.  Examining the 40,000 new finishing spaces for the hog industry, farmers will inject 12 million dollars into the local Illinois economy just in building and construction costs alone.  Each of those hogs will consume 7-8 bushels of corn per year and the barn will “turn over” – empty and get new hogs – twice per year.  Today, a bushel of corn is selling for $6.51 which means that farmers are putting $400,000 into the rural economy for a year just in feed costs alone.

These new and expanding livestock farmers are also paying labor costs, electricity, property taxes, transportation costs, veterinarian costs and a host of other costs.  These new and expanding livestock farmers indicate economic stimulus for Illinois.

Nic Anderson
Illinois Livestock Development Group

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