Economic Impacts Studies and Reports

Photo by agnormark/iStock / Getty Images

Final Report of Impact to Property Values by Chicken Operation in Colorado

This report analyzes the economic impact to property values of real estate located in proximity to a CAFO. In the report, Dr. John A. Kilpatrick, a certified real estate appraiser with Greenfield Advisors LLC, details the impact on both the value and marketability of properties located nearby a chicken CAFO. In this report, property value impacts are estimated to be as high as 88% for homes immediately adjacent to the CAFO.

CAFO Operations and the Destruction of Agricultural Communities

This report by Dr. William Weida discusses the strong link between rural communities and food policy.

Foundations of Sand: Considering the Rationale for Factory Farming

This report by Dr. William Weida explores how factory farms have spread across the U.S. landscape by making claims that mislead many communities. Learn why the purported benefits of factory farms are full of holes, and learn about the reality that lies beyond the claims.

The Real Economics of Factory Livestock

Economic arguments in favor of CAFOs are addressed one by one in this document, exposing their shortcomings and outright fallacies.

Industrialized Farming and Its Relationship to Community Well-Being

This report summarizes the results of existing research about the impacts of industrialized agriculture on rural communities. Approximately 82% of the 56 studies reviewed in this report conclude that industrialized farming operations have adverse effects on indicators of community well-being.

Potential Regional Economic Effects of Large Feedlots

This paper by Dr. William Weida discusses research findings concerning the regional economic impacts of large, concentrated animal feeding operations.

The Corporate-Controlled Factory System Is Inherently Flawed

This article was based on a December 1998 speech from Roger Allison, the executive director of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center. It speaks to the shortcomings of the industrial model of food production.

The New Culture of Rural America

This article explores the changes in rural America and farming, from the family farmer to the onslaught of agribusiness.

Impacts of Concentration in Hog Production on Economic Growth in Rural Illinois: An Economic Analysis

The results of this study counter the theory that large-scale hog facilities contribute to the vitality of local economies. On the contrary, the models developed here consistently indicate that large hog CAFOs hinder economic growth in communities. The report also discusses public policy implications.

The CAFO and Depopulation of Rural Agricultural Areas: Implications for Rural Economies in Canada and the US

Factsheet: Farming and Trade Policy – What’s the Impact on Family Farmers?

The first U.S. Farm Bill passed in the 1930s was intended to protect our nation’s farmers and stabilize agricultural markets. But subsequent Farm Bills and free trade agreements have steadily removed those protections and promoted excessive grain production for animal feedlots and the export market. The result has been that harvest prices to small farmers have dropped dramatically while food processors can buy inputs cheaply for products like corn syrup. Agribusiness profits while small farmers around the world earn less and are pitted against one another.

Excessive Truck Weight: An Expensive Burden We Can No Longer Afford. U.S. Government Accountability Office study.

While there are many uncontrollable causes of highway deterioration, such as weather, excessive truck weight is one cause that can be controlled. By strictly enforcing their weight laws, States could virtually eliminate damage caused by overweight trucks. While controlling truck weights will not eliminate highway deterioration, applying Federal weight limits to all trucks on all Federal-aid highways could reduce it even further.

The Questions Rural Communities Should Ask About CAFOs

This paper is a statement of my truth concerning the impacts of large-scale confinement animal feeding operations (CAFOs) on rural communities. Over

the past ten years, I have met with rural people concerned about CAFOs in more than a dozen states and in three provinces of Canada. To prepare for these meetings, I have reviewed research data from a wide variety of sources and have listened to arguments from those on both sides of the issue, including those living downwind and downstream from CAFOs. My truth is based on everything I have learned from this decade of experience.

The Evidence for Property Devaluation Due to the Proximity to CAFOs

Failure to enforce regulations can have dire economic consequences for regions in which CAFOs locate. The pollution associated with CAFOs is not compatible with the in-migration necessary to stimulate the economy of rural areas. In fact, this pollution, unless controlled, can stimulate out-migration.

An HSUS Report: The Impact of Industrialized Animal Agriculture on Rural Communities

Industrialized animal agriculture production practices and systems not only jeopardize the welfare of farm animals and the environment, but also negatively impact public health, independent family farmers, and quality of life in rural communities. The tolls exacted on rural communities necessitate dramatic and immediate changes in animal agriculture.

Hogs, Economics, and Rural Communities

Every community is a bit different, but the fundamental issues are always the same. Some people in these communities expect to benefit economically by adopting an industrial model of livestock production, while others expect to suffer the inherently negative consequences of agricultural industrialization. Perhaps no public issue has so split the social fabric of rural communities, as when those who benefit economically confront those whose quality of life is diminished and the rest of the community is asked to choose sides.

The Real Economics of Factory Livestock
Livestock factories are taking over the U.S. livestock-meat industry. In spite of growing opposition, the number and size of large-scale, corporate-owned, factory-like livestock operations continues to grow. Consequently, the number of smaller, independent, livestock farming operations continues to decline. Large, corporate feed lots have dominated cattle feeding for several decades.

The Economics of CAFOs & Sustainable Alternatives

An essay by agricultural economist, Dr. John Ikerd, who has repeatedly warned that industrial meat production and CAFOs (aka: concentrated animal feeding operations) are negatively impacting rural communities all over our nation – and have been doing so for along time. Will we listen? And will we consider the sustainable alternatives?

Community health and socioeconomic issues surrounding concentrated animal feeding operations

This paper by the Workgroup on Community and Socioeconomic Issues discusses the principles that define healthy rural communities. It also evaluates the impact of CAFOs on rural community health. Finally it makes recommendations for policy changes, including limiting animal density per watershed and mandating environmental impact statements

“The Community Effects of Industrialized farming: Social Science Research and Challenges to Corporate Farming Laws”

This paper evaluates 51 studies (dating from the 1930’s) to the present) on the impacts of industrial farming on community well-being. 57% of these studies found “largely detrimental impacts,” 25% found mixed impacts and 18% found no detrimental impacts. Indicators that were used to assess adverse impacts included environmental conditions, community social fabric and socioeconomic conditions.

“Community health and socioeconomic issues surrounding concentrated animal feeding operations”

This paper by the Workgroup on Community and Socioeconomic Issues discusses the principles that define healthy rural communities. It also evaluates the impact of CAFOs on rural community health. Finally it makes recommendations for policy changes, including limiting animal density per watershed and mandating environmental impact statements

Final Reports & Technical Briefs from Mid-America Transportation Center Final Reports & Technical Briefs from Mid-America Transportation Center

Kansas is one of the leaders in meat production in the United States. In the southwest Kansas region, there are more than three hundred feed yards and several of the biggest meat processing plants in the nation. Heavy trucks (e.g., tractor-trailers) have been used primarily for transporting processed meat, meat byproducts, grain, and other related products. With the continuous growth of these industries, there will be more trucks on highways transporting meat and meat-related products in southwest Kansas. These trucks cause noteworthy damage to Kansas highway pavements, which in turn leads to more frequent maintenance actions and ultimately more traffic delays and congestion. The primary objective of this research was to estimate the highway damage costs attributed to the truck traffic associated with the processed meat (beef) and related industries in southwest Kansas. The researchers developed a systematic pavement damage estimation procedure that synthesized several existing methodologies including Highway Economic Requirements System (HERS) and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) methods. In this research project, the highway section of US 50/400 between Dodge City and Garden City in Kansas was selected and its pavement data were collected for analysis. Outcomes of this research will be beneficial for the selection of cost-effective transportation modes for the meat processing and related industries in southwest Kansas. It will also help government agents to assess highway maintenance needs and to set up maintenance priorities. Meanwhile, the analysis results will be valuable for the determination of reasonable user costs. Based on findings of this research, recommendations on the selection of transportation modes are provided and promising future research tasks are suggested as well.

Hogs, Economics, and Rural Communities

Every community is a bit different, but the fundamental issues are always the same. Some people in these communities expect to benefit economically by adopting an industrial model of livestock production, while others expect to suffer the inherently negative consequences of agricultural industrialization. Perhaps no public issue has so split the social fabric of rural communities, as when those who benefit economically confront those whose quality of life is diminished and the rest of the community is asked to choose sides.

The Economics of CAFOs & Sustainable Alternatives

Here is an essay by agricultural economist, John Ikerd, who has repeatedly warned that industrial meat production and CAFOs (aka: concentrated animal feeding operations) are negatively impacting rural communities all over our nation – and have been doing so for along time.


Economic Impacts Reports and Studies used with permission from the Iowa Alliance for Responsible Agriculture.