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Published August 23, 2013, 11:47 AM

Report shows SD remains ag powerhouse

South Dakota remains an agricultural powerhouse, ranking in the top 10 in the nation in the production of more than 15 crops, a new report shows.

By: Associated Press,

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — South Dakota remains an agricultural powerhouse, ranking in the top 10 in the nation in the production of more than 15 crops, a new report shows.

South Dakota is first in the production of bison and second in the production of honey, flaxseed, proso millet and sunflowers. The state is in the top 10 in many other major crops, including wheat, corn, soybeans and oats, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“This speaks to the fact that South Dakota is rooted in agriculture,” says state Agriculture Secretary Lucas Lentsch. “We may not have a large population, but we compete nationally in (farm) rankings.

“The statistics also show where we can improve,” he says. “We are still shipping a lot of our corn and soybeans out of state to livestock producers (for feed). I see room for growth in the livestock sector.”

South Dakota ranks sixth in the production of corn for grain, eighth in corn for silage and ninth in soybeans. Both Lentsch and Carter Anderson, director of the Agriculture Department’s National Agricultural Statistics Service state office, said they think the state will move up in the rankings.

“The corn belt is growing,” Anderson says. “People will say the corn belt is moving north and west, but it is more accurate to say that it is growing in those directions. We are seeing corn and soybeans planted in South Dakota and North Dakota where they were never planted before.”

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