SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)– It’s the start of National Agriculture Week, celebrating the impact of the industry across the U.S.
Here in South Dakota, it’s the state’s number one industry and in tonight’s Your Money Matters, area producers share the financial impact ag has across the state.
With $32 billion a year in economic activity…
“It contributes over $640 million a year in terms of tax revenue to the state, 130,000 jobs in South Dakota are attributed directly to agriculture,” Mark Salvador with South Dakota Farm Bureau said.
…the state’s number one industry is a big deal for every aspect of the economy in South Dakota.
“The local economy is impacted every single day by agriculture. We have a strong agriculture economy, that means that area main streets are going to be strong as well,” Pierpont, SD Farmer Kelly Brandlee said.
Right now that is the case for the ag economy in South Dakota.
“As agriculture sits today, there’s a lot of demand for corn, soybeans and all of the meat products grown here in South Dakota, that’s a function of a strong global demand. Corn prices are relatively high, soybean prices are relatively high, beef prices are in a good spot here today, there’s a lot of opportunity in agriculture right now,” Salvador said.
But as the profitability potential rises, so does the cost of doing business.
“Fertilizer price has almost doubled, the price of iron, those tractors and combines we see out there, they’ve gone up considerable amounts too, even the seed prices, everything goes up with the price of commodities,” Salvador said.
It’s why more South Dakota farmers are turning to adding new sources of revenue.
“There’s a lot of great opportunities out there for farmers to expand, my husband and I started selling our beef direct to consumers a couple of years ago,” Brandlee said.
Kelly Brandlee and her husband Clint are now shipping their Back Forty Beef all over the country directly to consumers, even making their own candles from leftover tallo.
“That’s a value-added item we can do on the farm,” Brandlee said.
They’re also joining forces with another leading industry in the state, turning their farm into an agritourism destination.
“We are also going to start a corn maze this fall,” Brandlee said. “Consumers are becoming further and further removed from the farm, and so they’re looking for that connection to a farmer.”
And while the state’s Ag economy is strong right now, the nationwide economic struggles of inflation and rising interest are taking a toll on farmers who heavily rely on lines of credit to finance their increasing costs of operations.