A new study on the economic impact of wheat shows that the crop contributed an average of $21.5 billion per year to the U.S. economy from 2003 to 2005. The study also showed 206,000 jobs on average each year were available over that time due to wheat production and use, according to the National Association of Wheat Growers
"This study points out something most wheat growers already knew, that wheat growing and the income it allows to flow through the economy are important to local communities and the U.S. economy as a whole," said Dale Schuler, NAWG president and a wheat grower in Carter, Mont., in a press release on the study.
"Keeping wheat growers on the ground isn't just important for the sake of food security – it's a $21 billion decision that affects the economy as well as people's jobs," he says. "We are proud to represent this important sector of the economy and will continue to work to ensure that growers can stay on the land."
The study looked at direct, indirect and induced economic impact on the state and national levels. It was commissioned by NAWG and done by James W. Richardson, Joe L. Outlaw and J. Marc Raulston at the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University.