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Many South Dakotans who are concerned with agriculture in the State have been interested in obtaining some means of comparing agricultural production over the years. Total income from agricultural products sold gives a very rough estimate of trends, but does not take into account the many other farm products which are not sold but used on the farm. The indexes presented here account for all of the output of the farms of South Dakota with the exception of some very minor crops and farm gardens. The present study is the first attempt to combine all of the various types of farm-output items into a composite picture of changing production using statistical techniques designed to secure a reasonably accurate trend. There has been no attempt to analyze the changes that have occurred in the period covered. Instead, emphasis has been placed on combining in one place all of the information necessary to the compiling of the indexes and in indicating the general trends that have appeared in the indexes thus far assembled. A few technical problems involved in the handling of the data might be mentioned. Basically, the procedure of the Department of Agriculture was followed as closely as possible so that comparisons with their Regional and National indexes is possible. In the group index of dairy production we have included all dairy products sold and consumed on the farm as well as all calves, some of which are beef calves. However a breakdown of data is not available. An index of dairy products alone was prepared. To give a complete picture of production from the dairy enterprise, the production of beef from dairy cattle should also be included. Again, this is not possible because the net production of beef from dairy cattle is not available.

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South Dakota State College


Agricultural Economics