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grain production, grain handling, biotech, crops South Dakota


Over the last three decades, producers in South Dakota have planted increasingly more acres under corn and soybeans and have moved away from producing oats and barley. The wheat production in the state has also increased during this period. The grain handling industry in South Dakota has also changed over time. The number of commercial elevators has significantly decreased during the past 30 years, and the operating capacities of the remaining ones are much larger. Genetically modified (GM) or transgenic corn and soybeans were introduced in 1996. Presently, South Dakota is leading the nation in adoption of transgenic corn and soybeans. Despite some consumers' reluctance to buy food products containing ingredients from biotech crops, the market demand for non-biotech crops is currently very limited. This paper reviews historic trends in South Dakota's grain production and grain handling system during the last three decades. The paper also assesses the readiness of South Dakota's grain-handling industry to respond to a potentially expanded market demand for non-biotech crops segregated from biotech crops.


Department of Economics, South Dakota State University

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