The South Dakota FFA Convention started over the weekend… We hope everyone is having a great time, and learning new ways to inspire their classmates and communities!
Here are some interesting facts about agriculture in the Mount Rushmore State:
~Agriculture is the state’s second leading industry. It has a $19 billion impact on the state’s
~The South Dakota Legislature made Houdek (pronounced hoo-deck) the official state soil in
1990. Houdek soil is not found in any other state. It was chosen because it, and closely related
soils occur on more than two million acres across South Dakota.
~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