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Wheat Crop Worth Millions To Economy

Wheat pumps $151 million into Washington’s economy each year, and produces another $80 million in state and local taxes, a new Washington State University study shows.

About 13,400 jobs are directly created by the industry, according to Washington State University economists David Holland and Roger Coupal. Another 14,000 “secondary” jobs are supported by the ripple effect of the dollars spent growing, harvesting and marketing the crop.

These related activities combine for a total economic impact of $668 million, including the payroll of 27,200 people whose jobs are dependent on the wheat industry, the study states.

The study estimates that Washington wheat accounts for 900 jobs in banking, 800 in real estate and 1,070 in health care services.

Washington wheat farmers harvested an average crop of 138 million bushels from 1989 through 1993, generating $457 million in total annual sales and another $50 million in transportation and handling fees.

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