Agriculture’s Contribution to New Mexico’s Economy


Circular 675

Joel Diemer, Terry Crawford, and Michael Patrick

College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences


Respectively, Professor/Extension Economic Development Specialist, Professor/Department Head, and Associate Professor/Extension Community Resource and Economic Development Specialist, Department of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business, New Mexico State University. (Print Friendly PDF)

Executive Summary

The combination of agriculture and food processing is an important part of New Mexico’s economy1. Together the two broad industries accounted for $10.6 billion (roughly 12.3%) of New Mexico’s $86.5 billion gross state product (GSP) 2 in 2012. In addition, the two industries directly created 32,578 jobs and 18,308 jobs in related support activities for a total of 50,886 jobs statewide 3.

Agriculture alone accounted for $3.9 billion in sales at the farm/ranch level and an additional $2.1 billion in value-adding processing/distribution, marketing, financing, and supporting servicesi. Agriculture was responsible for a total of 41,961 jobs in New Mexico in 2012, including 26,924 jobs in production-related activities and an additional 15,037 jobs in processing/distribution, marketing, financing, and supporting activities.

Food processing alone accounted for $2.9 billion in products and an additional $1.7 billion in value-adding processing/distribution, marketing, financing, and supporting services. Food processing was responsible for 8,924 jobs in New Mexico in 2012, including 5,654 jobs in production-related activities and an additional 3,270 jobs in processing/distribution, marketing, financing, and supporting activities.

Background

New Mexico Agriculture and Food Processing: A Snapshot

According to the New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA), there were 24,721 farm and ranch operations in New Mexico in 2012. The state’s agriculture is dominated by family operated farms and ranches. Fully 62.1% are considered small by USDA standards, with annual sales less than $250,000ii.

Chart of New Mexico's  agricultural cash receipts and net income, 1970–2012.

Figure 1. New Mexico agricultural cash receipts and net income, 1970–2012.

The total value of the agricultural sector’s production increased from $2.9 billion in 2009 (a poor year because of dairy losses) to $4.26 billion in 2012—up 47% (Figure 1). The value of livestock production increased 56% from 2009 to 2012 to $3.14 billion, primarily due to increased milk and cattle prices. The value of crop production increased 29% from 2009 to 2012 to $823 million, but has remained steady since 2010. The total value of services related to agriculture was approximately $240 million in 2012, down 26.58% from 2008, the most recent high point (USDA–NASS, 2012).

In 2012, New Mexico’s top six agricultural commodities accounted for 89% of total agricultural revenues (Figure 2): cattle and calves ($1.751 billion), dairy products ($1.409 billion), hay ($172.3 million), pecans ($110.5 million), chile ($65.4 million), and onions ($56.1 million).

Charts depicting New Mexico's cash receipts, all commodities, 2012.

Figure 2. New Mexico cash receipts, all commodities, 2012.

Agriculture and Food Processing Contributions to New Mexico’s Economy

Agriculture and food processing have direct, indirect, and induced effects on New Mexico’s economy. For this analysis, an input/output model (IMPLANiii is used to calculate the indirect and induced effects of agriculture and food processing activities.

The direct contribution (direct effect) of agriculture and food processing to New Mexico’s economy is the value of production, the jobs and employee compensation it creates, and the local and state taxes generated.

The indirect effects include the economic impact of producers and their suppliers buying goods and services (inputs) from local (state of New Mexico) industries.

The induced effects occur through re-spending of income received by owners of the labor inputs (see endnotes section for additional information on indirect and induced effects).

In 2012, New Mexico agriculture and food processing produced $10.6 billion in output ($6.8 billion direct and $3.8 billion indirect and induced); created 50,886 jobs (32,578 direct and 18,308 indirect and induced); and generated $1.47 billion in employee compensation ($376.5 million direct and $1.1 billion indirect and induced), $23 million in personal income taxes ($11 million direct and $12 million indirect and induced), $40 million in corporate income taxes ($7 million direct and $33 million indirect and induced), and $460 million in indirect business taxes ($132 million direct and $328 million indirect and induced).

New Mexico Agriculture and Food Processing: Future Opportunities

When compared to national statistics, New Mexico is below average in processing and utilizing its agricultural output (Ramirez and Crawford, 2005). An overwhelming majority of New Mexico’s agricultural and processed food products find their way to markets outside the state. According to NMDA (2010), 99% of New Mexico’s cattle are sent out of state for processing. Ninety-seven percent of New Mexico’s agricultural products leave the state, but the state in turn imports more than $4 billion in food products annually (NMDA, 2010).

The proximity of many producers to New Mexico’s population centers provides a significant opportunity to increase sales to meet the growing consumer demand for locally produced agricultural products. In 2010, over $13 million in New Mexico agricultural products were sold directly to consumers (via farmers’ markets and other venues). According to NMDA (2010), if New Mexico consumers increased their purchases of food from local farmers and ranchers by 15%, over $375 million in direct farm income would be generatediv. The total income (direct, indirect, and induced) associated with these added purchases would contribute $725 million per year in outputs and wealth for New Mexico communities (NMDA, 2010).

The benefits of expanded consumer-oriented agriculture and food processing are readily apparent. However, such expansions face a number of substantial hurdles. Not least of these are government policy and private sector investments that will improve the state’s agricultural infrastructure and services. These include financing to implement new technologies to lengthen production seasons and food storage facilities to ensure reliable supplies to wholesale and retail customers. Also needed are improved collaboration, networking, and distribution mechanisms that currently limit opportunities for connecting local producers and consumers to wholesale and retail outlets.

State and Regional Impacts of Agriculture and Food Processing

Agricultural production’s total impact4 is about 7.4% of New Mexico gross domestic product (GDP)5. Food processing’s total impact adds another 5.7% to New Mexico’s GDP. According to our IMPLAN analysis, agricultural production ranked 3rd in total statewide impact and food processing ranked 11th in total statewide impact.

For this report, eight regions of the state (each containing from three to six counties) were examinedv (Figure 3). The total impact of agriculture in each of the eight regions ranged from $224 million to $1.66 billion. In three of the regions, the total impact from agriculture makes it the number one sector in the region. The three regions on the east side of the state accounted for 83% of the state’s total agricultural impact. Agriculture ranked 5th or higher for six of the eight regions, with only two regions (the Northwest and Metro regions) ranked lower than 5th.

Food processing has a higher total value than agricultural production in two of the eight regions (the Southwest and Metro regions). The Metro region, which includes Bernalillo County, is the biggest food processing region in the state. However, even with nearly half of all the state’s food processing, the sector ranks only 25th in importance to the Metro economy. In two regions (East Central and Southwest), food processing is the second most important sector. However, only in the Southwest region is food processing’s impact larger than agricultural production.

Map of New Mexico divided into eight regions.

STATE OF NEW MEXICO

DIR. EMPL. IMPACT

TOT. EMPL. IMPACT

OUTPUT DIRECT $ IMPACT

OUTPUT TOTAL $ IMPACT

$ RANK

State & Local Govt. Education

98,311

160,598

5,574,507,324

9,106,339,439

1

Scientific R&D Services

32,155

56,251

4,970,488,281

8,695,228,758

2

AG PRODUCTION

26,924

41,961

3,881,871,821

6,008,285,299

3

State & Local Govt.
Non-education

62,164

101,535

3,664,326,416

5,985,103,474

4

Food & Drinking Places

69,146

106,238

3,712,477,783

5,703,955,481

5

Federal Govt. Non-military

29,545

48,746

3,288,753,662

5,426,083,042

6

Construction –
New Non-residential

26,475

43,310

3,209,204,102

5,249,951,667

7

Petroleum Refineries

604

665

4,326,457,031

4,759,017,299

8

Banking, Credit Unions

9,236

15,940

2,751,842,285

4,749,509,082

9

Wholesale Businesses

25,637

38,226

3,167,260,254

4,722,592,393

10

FOOD PROCESSING

5,654

8,925

2,888,843,602

4,635,452,275

11

Map of New Mexico with the northwest region counties highlighted: San Juan, Rio Arriba, and McKinley.

1. NORTHWEST

DIR. EMPL. IMPACT

TOT. EMPL. IMPACT

OUTPUT DIRECT $ IMPACT

OUTPUT TOTAL $ IMPACT

$ RANK

Petroleum Refineries

213

227

1,514,066,040

1,618,193,104

1

Oil & Natual Gas Extraction

3,292

4,396

672,063,782

897,328,597

2

State & Local Govt. Education

12,579

18,746

665,946,899

992,491,552

3

Electricity Generation, Transmission & Distribution

1,270

1,500

653,704,346

772,166,034

4

Support for Oil & Gas Ops.

2,436

3,438

458,677,429

647,379,687

6

Wholesale Businesses

4,450

5,824

456,078,583

597,035,083

7

Food & Drinking Places

7,195

9,810

373,729,706

509,566,019

8

Construction –
New Non-residential

2,882

4,052

357,830,597

503,059,684

9

Hospitals – Private

2,633

3,860

352,323,730

516,595,684

10

AG PRODUCTION

4,523

6,671

270,370,665

396,766,874

13

FOOD PROCESSING

91

116

32,309,966

40,725,693

63

Map of New Mexico with the Northeast region counties highlighted: Taos, Colfax, Union, Mora, Harding, and San Miguel.

2. NORTHEAST

DIR. EMPL. IMPACT

TOT. EMPL. IMPACT

OUTPUT DIRECT $ IMPACT

OUTPUT TOTAL $ IMPACT

$ RANK

AG PRODUCTION

2,413

3,624

421,826,080

643,777,146

1

State & Local Govt. Education

5,131

7,507

274,399,078

401,444,631

2

Mining Gold, Silver
& Other Metals

401

460

240,289,139

275,913,553

4

State & Local Govt.
Non-education

2,602

3,799

139,370,163

203,538,578

5

Food & Drinking Places

2,699

3,629

144,613,434

194,423,302

6

Banking, Credit Unions

412

627

119,851,807

182,554,958

7

Hospitals – Private

944

1,354

116,459,961

167,152,237

8

Health Services –
Non-hospitals

1,281

1,871

110,637,115

161,564,530

9

Construction –
New Non-residential

1,076

1,421

111,619,621

147,405,351

10

FOOD PROCESSING

38

48

27,139,555

32,939,418

39

Map of New Mexico with the east central region counties highlighted: Quay, Guadalupe, De Baca, Curry and Roosevelt.

3. EAST CENTRAL

DIR. EMPL. IMPACT

TOT. EMPL. IMPACT

OUTPUT DIRECT $ IMPACT

OUTPUT TOTAL $
IMPACT

$ RANK

AG PRODUCTION

3,906

5,396

934,627,904

1,309,814,598

1

FOOD PROCESSING

757

1,219

517,217,038

838,138,919

2

Federal Govt. Military

3,325

4,398

494,559,692

654,100,491

3

State & Local Govt. Education

4,429

6,353

229,376,236

328,975,393

4

Rail Transport

456

638

145,506,287

203,533,634

6

Food & Drinking Places

2,715

3,624

137,187,393

183,122,544

7

Banking, Credit Unions

413

612

120,942,459

179,087,187

8

Oil & Natural Gas Extraction

1,027

1,204

137,688,232

161,476,759

9

State & Local Govt.
Non-education

1,684

2,415

90,673,416

130,031,583

10

Map of New Mexico with the southeast region counties highlighted: Chaves, Eddy and Lea.

4. SOUTHEAST

DIR. EMPL. IMPACT

TOT. EMPL. IMPACT

OUTPUT DIRECT $ IMPACT

OUTPUT TOTAL $
IMPACT

$ RANK

Petroleum Refineries

382

410

2,730,044,678

2,926,911,625

1

Oil & Natual Gas Extraction

6,560

8,838

1,522,124,023

2,050,731,367

2

Support for Oil & Gas Ops.

6,145

8,844

1,151,085,938

1,656,527,202

3

AG PRODUCTION

2,993

4,052

840,845,110

1,155,862,850

4

FOOD PROCESSING

1,064

1,697

662,629,536

1,103,669,315

5

State & Local Govt. Education

6,666

9,859

375,766,296

555,735,496

7

Construction –
New Non-residential

2,666

3,833

337,676,331

485,468,480

8

Banking, Credit Unions

1,025

1,611

305,533,936

480,375,437

9

Oil & Natural Gas Extraction

1,152

1,361

393,381,653

464,874,284

10

Map of New Mexico with the south central region counties highlighted: Sierra, Dona Ana and Otero.

5. SOUTH CENTRAL

DIR. EMPL. IMPACT

TOT. EMPL. IMPACT

OUTPUT DIRECT $ IMPACT

OUTPUT TOTAL $
IMPACT

$ RANK

Federal Govt. Non-military

7,255

11,066

848,863,831

1,294,796,767

1

State & Local Govt. Education

15,410

23,229

844,259,521

1,272,617,206

2

Federal Govt. Military

4,769

6,511

679,694,885

927,966,124

3

AG PRODUCTION

4,272

5,748

614,514,662

841,347,200

5

FOOD PROCESSING

1,031

1,498

490,915,594

732,678,159

6

Health Services –
Non-hospitals

3,838

5,881

387,642,883

594,104,010

7

Hospitals – Private

3,173

4,716

372,887,024

554,114,572

8

Food & Drinking Places

7,549

10,385

398,321,655

547,909,010

9

Construction – New Non-residential

3,224

4,610

361,664,886

517,233,008

10

Map of New Mexico with the southwest region counties highlighted: Grant, Hidalgo and Luna.

6. SOUTHWEST

DIR. EMPL. IMPACT

TOT. EMPL. IMPACT

OUTPUT DIRECT $ IMPACT

OUTPUT TOTAL $ IMPACT

$ RANK

Mining Copper, Nickel, Lead & Zinc

812

943

462,385,437

536,997,265

1

FOOD PROCESSING

788

985

319,036,178

397,158,146

2

AG PRODUCTION

1,479

2,030

191,553,707

266,152,617

3

Federal Govt. Non-military

1,427

1,979

173,526,825

240,659,833

4

State & Local Govt. Education

3,230

4,424

167,991,974

230,095,381

5

Mining Gold, Silver & Other Metals

194

229

115,569,824

136,761,918

6

State & Local Govt.
Non-education

2,133

2,920

113,867,386

155,869,252

7

Health Services – Non-hospitals

818

1,123

77,588,142

106,513,220

8

Food & Drinking Places

1,511

1,944

74,544,815

95,882,208

9

Banking, Credit Unions

223

317

64,771,721

91,944,700

10

Map of New Mexico with the west central region counties highlighted: Catron, Socorro and Lincoln.

7. WEST CENTRAL

DIR. EMPL. IMPACT

TOT. EMPL. IMPACT

OUTPUT DIRECT $ IMPACT

OUTPUT TOTAL $ IMPACT

$ RANK

AG PRODUCTION

1,071

1,495

156,385,284

224,808,919

1

State & Local Govt. Education

2,758

3,948

148,973,419

213,205,939

2

Food &
Drinking Places

1,771

2,339

93,220,711

123,150,244

3

Banking, Credit Unions

229

363

66,644,142

105,823,214

4

Real Estate

1,002

1,117

89,645,615

99,936,943

5

State & Local Govt.
Non-education

1,133

1,623

65,433,678

93,742,686

6

Scientific R&D Services

501

735

59,897,583

87,808,627

7

Construction –
New Non-residential

560

726

57,064,083

73,902,126

8

Federal Govt.
Non-military

532

763

46,592,064

66,769,168

9

Hospitals – Private

329

474

44,778,191

64,412,632

10

FOOD PROCESSING

23

28

5,181,815

6,121,411

71

Map of New Mexico with the metro region counties highlighted: Cibola, Sandoval, Bernalillo, Santa Fe, Valencia and Torrance.

8. METRO REGION

DIR. EMPL. IMPACT

TOT. EMPL. IMPACT

OUTPUT DIRECT $ IMPACT

OUTPUT TOTAL $ IMPACT

$
RANK

Scientific R&D Services

29,683

55,483

4,650,383,789

8,692,377,779

1

State & Local Govt. Education

48,107

82,604

2,867,794,189

4,924,243,333

2

Semiconductors & Related Manufacturing

4,080

6,128

2,813,451,416

4,225,781,340

4

State & Local Govt.
Non-education

38,591

66,221

2,367,196,777

4,061,985,962

5

Food & Drinking Places

39,389

63,745

2,164,564,209

3,503,033,881

6

Construction –
New Non-residential

14,673

25,886

1,829,187,988

3,227,112,940

7

Wholesale Businesses

15,502

24,577

2,033,204,102

3,223,592,622

8

Telecommunications

5,794

9,460

1,907,824,951

3,114,909,638

9

Federal Govt. Non-military

14,987

25,972

1,714,665,161

2,971,448,107

10

FOOD PROCESSING

1,850

2,848

832,137,129

1,237,654,407

25

AG PRODUCTION

4,624

7,424

401,713,926

649,162,266

48

Figure 3. Value and employment impacts of agricultural production and food processing in eight sub-state regions, 2012.

Conclusion

New Mexico is a net exporter of food products grown in our state but processed elsewhere. Exports are good for the economy, but when we export commodities that might be viably processed here in New Mexico, we lose the opportunity to add value to our production and to add jobs and income to the state. As the 3rd and 11th ranked sectors in the New Mexico economy, agriculture and food processing account for approximately 7% and 6% of the state’s GDP, respectively.

An additional and potentially far greater opportunity for both of these sectors is the expansion of locally produced and processed consumer-oriented food products. There is a wide variety of crops that consumers have come to expect to find in retail outlets (in particular, tomatoes, cucumbers, and leafy vegetables) that could bevilocally produced. Any expansion of food products produced year-round on New Mexico farms represents a significant opportunity to increase economic activity and jobs in the state.

References

Hoppe, R., J. MacDonald, and P. Korb. 2010. Small farms in the United States: Persistence under pressure [USDA Economic Information Bulletin No. 63].

Jensen, M. 2012. 10 vegetable crops you should consider. http://www.greenhousegrower.com/vegetables/10-vegetable-crops-you-should-consider/

New Mexico Department of Agriculture. 2010. Sustainable agriculture development report.

Ramirez, O.A., and T. Crawford. 2005. Impact of the New Mexico agricultural sector on the state’s economic and social well-being. Presentation to Middle Rio Grande Council of Governments, Albuquerque,
November 4, 2005.

USDA–NASS. 2012. 2012 census publications. http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2012/Full_Report/Census_by_State/New_Mexico/index.asp

Washington State Employment Security Department, Labor Market & Economic Analysis Branch. n.d. Agricultural services. http://govinfo.askcarlos.com/wastate/wslmia/specialreports/industry-profiles

Foot Notes

1This overall discussion is focused on two broad industries: agriculture and food processing (e.g., cheese from milk). In some instances the data for the two are combined, and where this occurs is clearly noted in the text.(back to top)

2Gross state product is a measurement of the economic output of a state. It is the sum of all value added by industries within the state and serves as a counterpart
to the gross domestic product at the national level.(back to top)

3 These figures include all jobs, including self employment and part-time.(back to top)

4 “Total impact” is composed of the direct, indirect, and induced impacts.(back to top)

5 The state’s gross domestic product (GDP) is defined as the total value of goods and services produced within the state.(back to top)

End Notes

i “Agricultural services sector is comprised of a wide array of services sold to farm-oriented enterprises and to non-farm final consumers. These farm-oriented services are essentially intermediate activities, providing inputs for agricultural production. These service activities take on various forms; for example, an agricultural service occurs when a firm provides soil preparation services for a farming enterprise, when a company performs crop planting, cultivating and harvesting services, when a veterinary provides services for livestock, or when a firm provides temporary labor on a contract basis to farms during production or harvesting, or even providing management expertise for farming enterprises. Although these examples hint at the variety of services captured by the industry, they do not convey the sheer number of activities performed by ‘non-farm’ agricultural services. Such services include veterinary services for pets and other animal specialties (e.g., non-livestock), landscape architectural and planning services, lawn and garden services, and ornamental shrub and tree services.” (Washington State Employment Security Department, n.d.; p. 1) (back to top)

ii “Ninety-one percent of U.S. farms are classified as small—gross cash farm income (GCFI) of less than $250,000. About 60 percent of these small farms are very small, generating GCFI of less than $10,000. These very small noncommercial farms, in some respects, exist independently of the farm economy because their operators rely heavily on off-farm income. The remaining small farms—small commercial farms—account for most small-farm production.” (Hoppe et al., 2010; p. i)(back to top)

iii The IMPLAN system is an input/output model currently used by government agencies, colleges and universities, non-profit organizations, corporations, and business development and planning organizations. The model measures the relationship between a given set of demands for final goods and the inputs required to satisfy those demands.

Terms used here that are common to input/output models include:

Direct Effect – The value of production, the jobs and employee compensation an industrial sector creates, and the local and state taxes it generates.

Indirect Effect – Industries producing goods and services for consumption purchase goods and services from other producers. These other producers in turn purchase goods and services. These indirect purchases (indirect effects) continue until leakages from the region in the form of imports, wages, and profits exhaust the cycle.

Induced Effect – This is the change in production as a result of spending by households as income increases or decreases due to changes in production (direct effect) and jobs and income are created or lost as a consequence of those changes.

For a complete description of the IMPLAN model visit www.implan.com.(back to top)

iv This assumes that producers develop new capacity and products that are not currently being produced for local markets (or being produced but exported). Turning exports into local sales will produce little if any net gain. (back to top)

v The regional approach is a way to refine and improve the quality of the results. The counties that comprise the state of New Mexico are far from being a set of homogeneous economic units. A case in point is the results for the whole state. These are far more representative of the most developed counties than of the more rural counties.

It is impossible to create sub-state regions that are truly economically homogeneous. However, the regions developed for this impact analysis have the effect of isolating sets of relatively highly linked counties (economically speaking) from others with which they have little in common. In some instances those linkages are evolved from practical considerations, such as access (highways and driving times), as much as the result of industrial similarities.

Whatever the case, the impact results for each sub-region provide far more accurate, plausible, and usable results for each sub-state region’s counties than if the state results were applied to all counties.(back to top)

vi Small-, medium-, and large-scale greenhouse production of crops sometimes produced locally and normally imported during winter months represents a substantial departure from traditional New Mexico agriculture. However, certain specialty products, such as leafy greens, microgreens, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, green beans, Swiss chard, squash, raspberries, and strawberries, all have significant market potential as locally produced fruits and vegetables in conventional retail outlets, restaurants, and, of course, farmers’ markets (Jensen, 2012).(back to top)


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Joel Diemer is a Professor and Extension Economic Development Specialist in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business at NMSU. His research and Extension programs focus on regional economic development and strategic planning.


To find more resources for your business, home, or family, visit the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences on the World Wide Web at aces.nmsu.edu

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New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. NMSU and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating.

December 2014