Emily Hanlin mugshotBy Emily Hanlin

Winnebago-Boone Farm Bureau

BOONE COUNTY – Before, I shared with you the impact agriculture has on our local economy in Winnebago County. When we think about our local economy, how often do we think about one single industry?

The agriculture industry impacts every aspect of our daily lives from the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the buildings we live and work in. But, it also has a large impact on our local economy. This week, let’s take a look at the economic benefit that agriculture offers in Boone County.

A total of 1,319 jobs or six percent of county jobs are derived from agriculture. In 2012, agriculture and agriculture-related industries contributed $361.4 million or 4.1 percent to the county’s total economic output.

There are 479 farms which are comprised of 134,759 acres in the county which equals 74 percent of the county’s area. The average farm size is 281 acres.

Out of the 479 farm operations, 406 operations comprised of 104,244 acres are family or individual operations; 29 operations comprised of 20,383 acres are partnerships; 28 operations comprised of 8,296 acres are family held corporations;3 operations are non-family corporations; and 13 operations are cooperative, estate, trust or institutional, etc.

The profits from Boone County crops and livestock are:

Corn value of sales equals $56,437,000.

Soybean value of sales equals $19,939,000.

Wheat value of sales equals $1,693,000.

Vegetable value of sales equals $1,465,000.Boone County economic

Fruit, tree nuts, and berries value of sales equals $341,000.

Nursery, greenhouse, floriculture and sod value of sales equals $8,010,000.

Cattle and calves value of sales equals $1,551,000.

Milk value of sales equals $6,223,000.

Sheep, goats, wool, mohair and milk value of sales equals $422,000.

Poultry and eggs value of sales equals $62,000.

Equine value of sales equals $436,000.

Boone County agriculture compared to the other Illinois counties ranks:

First in the state for goat inventory; fourth in the state for value of sales sheep, goats, wool, mohair and milk; eleventh in the state for value of sales of fruits, tree nuts, and berries; twelfth in the state for value of nursery, greenhouse, floriculture, and sod; thirteenth in the state for milk from cows; sixteenth in the state for value of sales from horses, ponies, mules, burros, and donkeys; and twenty-second in the state for value of sales of vegetables, melons, potatoes and sweet potatoes.

The agriculture industry is an asset to the local economy of Boone County. This being said, remember that once in your life you will need a lawyer, a policeman, and a firefighter. But, every day, three times a day, you need a farmer. Farmers not only work hard to provide us with food for our table, they support the local economy.

The data in this article came from the following sources:

Decision Innovations Solutions, USDA Census of Agriculture for 2012, “Illinois Agricultural Economic Contribution Study” by Decision Innovation Solutions (DIS), the Illinois Farm Business and Farm Management Association’s “Farm Production Costs and Income, Preliminary report for 2013”, the “Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Appraisers” year 2014 annual report, and various USDA-NASS reports.

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