Major industry clusters for Northeast South Dakota include:
|Industry||Percent of Total||Area Annual Pay|
Livestock and livestock products are the most important agricultural products produced in the state.
In terms of revenue generated South Dakota's top five agricultural products are cattle and calves, corn for grain, soybeans, wheat, and hogs. South Dakota is a leading producer of spring wheat, flaxseed, hay, oats, rye and sunflower seeds.
Roughly 40 percent of the corn produced in South Dakota goes towards ethanol production. There are 15 ethanol plants in the state, which produce almost 1 billion gallons per year, which is 10% of the nation’s ethanol supply. South Dakota has the nation’s highest number of farmer-owned plants and is fourth in total ethanol production.
Specialty crops play a small part in South Dakota agriculture, but this industry is rapidly expanding. Since the state legislature passed the Farm Winery Act fifteen years ago, twenty licensed wineries have been established.
South Dakota ranks near the top in a vast array of areas, including corn, what, sunflowers, flax, soybeans, alfalfa, oats, hay, bison, pheasants, honey, cattle, sheep and swine. This tremendous variety speaks to the productivity of our land and the skill of our producers.
South Dakota is a leading beef cattle (#7), hogs, lambs, sheep and wool producing state. Beef cattle comprise 34% of the state's total agricultural receipts and 4% of the nations cattle production. Chickens, eggs, geese and turkeys are also raised in South Dakota. Milk is also an important source of agricultural income.
Agriculture is South Dakota’s number one industry, with a $20.7 billion economic impact. There are more than 31,500 farms in the state, and the impact from the crop and the livestock industries is equally divided. The eastern half of the state, which receives more precipitation, is generally better suited for raising corn and soybeans.
Crops & Livestock
Wheat: South Dakota produces 3 different types of wheat: hard red winter, hard red spring and durum. In an average year, more than 3 million acres are planted to wheat.
Corn: More than 4 million acres of corn are planted in South Dakota in an average year. It is grown primarily east of the Missouri River, mainly in the southeast. It is our most frequently irrigated crop. We harvest over 400 million bushels each year. Ethanol plants, which process the corn into ethanol fuel and distillers grain, are prevalent across our state.
Soybeans: South Dakota grown soybeans are processed into meal and oil at our locally owned processing plant in Volga, SD. Nearly 4 million acres are planted to beans, producing 100 million bushels annually. South Dakota State University is a leader in the development of varieties that are suitable to our growing conditions.
Sunflowers: Two types of sunflowers are grown in South Dakota—oilseed and confectionery. The confectionery variety is used for human consumption and birdseed. The state ranks 2nd in sunflower seed and oil production in the United States.
Other crops: South Dakota is also a leading producer of a variety of small grains including oats, barley, rye, flaxseed, sorghum and alfalfa.
Beef: In South Dakota there are approximately 17,000 ranchers and cattlemen that produce 3.7 million head of cattle--we have more cattle than people! In South Dakota, the cattle industry is a family business with nearly all of the cattle businesses having been in the same families for more than 25 years.
Pork: South Dakota’s pork farmers raise over 2.3 million hogs per year. John Morrell & Co. alone handles over 17,000 hogs a day. South Dakota’s pork industry provides nearly 6,900 jobs in our state.
Transportation is good throughout the region, with highways and rail connectivity. Highway 12 is part of the transportation backbone of the region and has a rich history associated with it. Multiple businesses (including a power plant, wheat growers, and ethanol plants) have grown up along this corridor to take advantage of the logistics opportunities, and it is also a tourist draw as the 'Yellowstone Trail.' Other transportation routes in the area may not have as much history, but still offer valuable transportation opportunities and shouldn't be overlooked.