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grain marketing patterns, agricultural economics


U.S. Agriculture is going through a transition. Federal spending on farm programs is being curtailed and agricultural policies are being modified to make production of farm commodities responsive to market forces. In this competitive environment, efforts by the commodity groups for market development are becoming i:q.creasingly more important. However, to devise any market development plan for a commodity, understanding of the present status of the marketing system is important. At a minimum, one needs to know the methods of purchase and sale, types of buyers, shipment destinations, and transportation modes for the commodity. These aspects of grain marketing in South Dakota have not been studied for the last three decades. To fill this void, a study on grain marketing patterns in South Dakota was launched. Since a large proportion of the grain is handled by grain elevators, the data on grain marketing patterns were collected through a mail survey of the grain elevators in South Dakota. The specific objectives of the survey were to identify: the quantities of grain handled, alternative methods of sale and purchase, major destinations, and relative importance of alternative modes of transportation for the grain handled by the elevators in South Dakota. Through this survey, researchers sought information on the marketing patterns for wheat, oats, barley, corn, soybeans, and sunflower seeds for the marketing year 1994-95. The survey forms were mailed to all 275 grain elevators in the state during the spring of 1996. One hundred twenty useable responses were returned. The responding elevator managers' locations were well distributed in the state. This publication is devoted to documenting more detailed results relating to sunflower seeds. The data on sunflower seed marketing patterns are presented by regions based on USDA's crop reporting districts in South Dakota (Figure 1). Most of the discussion of marketing patterns is on the state level. However, regional differences in the marketing patterns, when present, are also discussed. In order to keep individual responses confidential, it was necessary to consolidate the marketing pattern data for the Northwest region with that of North Central region. Following the introduction, section 2 of this report is devoted to discussing the quantity of sunflower seed handled by the elevators in South Dakota. Methods used by the elevators for purchase and sale o f sunflower seeds are discussed in section 3. Section 4 is .devoted to discussing the types of buyers for South Dakota sunflower seeds. The shipment destinations and transportation modes are discussed in section 5. A brief summary of the results is presented in section 6.


Economics Research Report No. 98-4