Wisconsin Soybeans Grow our Economy

WI Animal Agriculture Impact Report: View Information

Soybeans grown in Wisconsin are important to agriculture, local communities and the economic well-being of our state. One of the key uses of Wisconsin soybeans is Soybean meal (SBM) fed to food producing animals in our state. This in turn has a significant impact on the state’s economy.

In 2016, animal agriculture had the following positive Wisconsin economic impacts:

  • Job impact throughout the economy – 413,000 jobs, including 153,900 in on-farm production
  • Impact on total output in the economy – $88.3 billion
  • Impact on household earnings – $ 4 billion
  • Impact on income taxes paid at local, state and federal levels– $1.1 billion
  • Impact on property taxes paid – $311.2 million receipts
  • Animal agriculture is a soybean farmer’s #1 customer. Animal agriculture encompasses mainly dairy, beef cattle, hogs, broilers, turkeys, eggs, sheep and aquaculture. Together the poultry and livestock industries eat 98 percent of the soybean meal in the United States.
  • Animal agriculture in 2015 used an estimated 710.3 thousand tons of SBM: 48% in dairy production, 9.8% in beef production and 8.8% in broiler production
  • Sixty five percent of Wisconsin soybeans are exported with much of that demand being driven by China. Two out of every 3 soybean rows are sent to other countries.
  • Agriculture employs one out of every ten workers in our state, building a strong economic foundation. We all benefit from this economic activity which leads to better public services, roads and schools. This report provides a concise look at the positive impact animal agriculture has had on Wisconsin’s economy.
  • Over the past decade, the expansion of animal agriculture in Wisconsin has led to increases of $2.5 billion in economic output, $467 million in household wages, 18,100 jobs and $125 million in tax revenue.


World-wide demand for Wisconsin soybeans continues to grow. Sixty five percent of Wisconsin soybeans travel half way around the globe to China. Two out of every three soybean rows are sent to other countries.

In order to transport a bushel of Wisconsin soybeans from the field to its end user, growers depend on highways, railroads and waterways. The Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board invests in the expansion of domestic and foreign markets, along with the infrastructure needed, to move soybeans from the farm gate to customers.

Learn more about international market development by visiting U.S. Soybean Export Council.