23 A GROWING LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY MEANS A GROWING ILLINOIS ECONOMY A growing livestock industry is good for Illinois and supports many sectors of the economy. Those that benefit from a growing livestock industry include: LIVESTOCK FARMERS: A strong livestock industry gives Illinois farmers a greater competitive edge through efficiencies in technology, transportation, marketing, and more. This growing ag sector attracts livestock-related industries and companies, which further strengthens Illinois’ position in the global marketplace. GRAIN FARMERS: Livestock creates demand for Illinois’ top two commodities – soybeans and corn. Livestock is the #1 customer of Illinois soybeans. In 2014, Illinois livestock consumed an estimated 875.7 thousand tons of soybean meal, which is the equivalent to more than 36.8 million bushels of soybeans.28 Livestock is also one of the strongest domestic markets for Illinois corn. For the 2017-2018 crop year, the state’s livestock consumed an estimated 112 million bushels of Illinois corn and 845,000 tons of DDGS.32 It is in the best interest of grain farmers to keep their best customers as neighbors. A thriving livestock industry boosts profit potential for Illinois grain farmers who benefit from: higher demand for Illinois corn and soybeans, more local customers, and lower transportation costs. ILLINOIS RESIDENTS: Our nation’s food security depends on domestic production. Food produced on Illinois livestock farms will benefit consumers in Illinois, the United States and around the world. In 2017, there were 89 hog barns that filed a NOITC with IDOA to build a new barn. These barns have the capacity to raise enough pigs to produce more than 31.7 million pork chops AND more than 450 million slices of bacon on an annual basis.33 CURRENT ILLINOIS LIVESTOCK FARMS •  Illinois ranks 4th in the U.S. in pork production, producing 1.9 billion pounds of pork each year. 29 •  In Illinois, about 23 percent of farms raise beef cows - 12,646 farms with a total of nearly 344,000 cattle.30 • There are approximately 650 dairy farms in Illinois with 94,000 dairy cows producing nearly 2 billion pounds of milk each year.31