PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The latest five-year report released this week by the state Department of Agriculture shows South Dakota farms and ranches received three times as much for their production in 2017 as they had 20 years ago.
But the numbers also reflected how volatile commodity prices have been: 2017 production in South Dakota was worth hundreds of millions of dollars less than in 2012.
State Agriculture Secretary Kim Vanneman sounded a positive note.
“This study is very encouraging,” Vanneman said in a statement. “It’s been a tough couple years for folks in agriculture with unpredictable weather and tough markets, but these numbers show that the heartbeat of agriculture is strong, and our future is bright.”
According to the department, both the 2017 and 2012 studies were completed by Illinois-based Decision Innovation Solutions and drew from data generated by the Census of Agriculture conducted by the National Agricultural Statistics Service of
the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Total production in 2017 from farms and ranches was approximately $9,721,522,000. That was down from $10,170,227,000 in 2012. In the preceding decade, production value had essentially doubled, from $3,664,129,000 in 1997 to $6,570,450,000 in 2007.
The value of various crops — grains, oilseeds, dry beans and dry peas — was $5,166,557,000 in 2017, down from $6,072,922,000 in 2012, but up from $3,383,497,000 in 2007.
But the total value of livestock, poultry and related products rose. They reached $4,554,966,000 in 2017. That was up from $3,186,953,000 in 2012 and $2,258,715,000 in 2007.
Cattle and calves comprised the largest chunk of that sector in 2017 at $3,191,493,000, up from $2,307,618,000 in 2007.
Pigs and hogs in 2017 came in at $577,034,000, up from $381,360,000 in 2007.
Milk and other dairy products from cows showed the most growth, climbing to $381,360,000 in 2017 from $279,765,000 ten years earlier.
The 2017 report noted: “According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, there were 29,968 farms in South Dakota, which was a 6% decline since 2012. However, nearly every category of livestock inventory has been on the rise, as well as corn and soybean production.”
Cattle and calves sold rose from 2,567,027 in 2012, to 2,752,025 in 2017. Hogs and pigs sold increased from 3,914,312 to 5,359,357, while milk cows went from 91,831 to 127,325.
During the same five-year span, corn production for grain climbed from 480,330,680 bushels to 768,250,076; wheat for grain plunged from 100,675,153 bushels to 45,137,278; and soybeans increased from 130,534,273 bushels to 240,114,687.