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agriculture, farming, structural trends


The purpose of this report is to present and analyze recent structural trends in South Dakota Agriculture and to outline major implications of these trends. In the report, major forces underlying the recent structural trends in South Dakota agriculture are briefly discussed. Recent South Dakota trends are then presented and analyzed in the following order: (1) Declining farm numbers (2) Increasing farm size in acres (3) Increasing sales volume and concentration (4) Land tenure and ownership trends (5) Farm corporations in perspective (6) Greater specialization and concentration of livestock enterprises (7) Greater reliance on debt capital and other changes in farm finance (8) Growing reliance on off-farm income Comparisons are made with regional and national trends to place the South Dakota situation in better prespective. Predictions for the year 2000 are presented for a few key trends. Many structural trends and their implications are specifically related to fann size. Therefore, profiles of South Dakota fanns by economic class (farm sales volume) are presented to better understand structural trends by farm si ze and to help assess future implications. This report concludes with a summery of observations and implications for family farms, rural communities and the future of agriculture in South Dakota . Infonnation presented in this report is primarily based upon data from the U.S. and South Dakota Census of Agriculture reports, various U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) bulletins and previous studies of South Dakota agriculture.


Economics Research Report 83-2