Dakota Farmer

Diverse Dakota agriculture

Slideshow: North and South Dakota boast a variety of agriculture commodities.

Sarah McNaughton

January 27, 2023

6 Slides
Wheat field

From the sugarbeet fields in the northern Red River Valley to rolling pastures and the Black Hills, the Dakotas showcase great diversity in everything from the land to the agriculture industry grown on it.

Both Dakotas have their state specialties, but many crops and industries are shared. Beef and dairy cattle, poultry operations, and row crops ranging from corn to soybeans, the Dakotas produce a bit of everything.

North Dakota leads the nation in some of its specialty crop production, including sunflowers, field peas, dry edible beans, honey, flax and canola, according to the North Dakota Department of Agriculture.

Agriculture also reigns supreme in South Dakota, being the state’s No. 1 industry. Soybeans, corn and hay were among the top crops grown, while the cattle industry ranks among the top 10 states in the nation.

Let’s take a walk through just a few of the Dakota’s many agriculture offerings and celebrate the region’s diversity during National Agriculture Month.

USDA, National Agriculture Statistics Service, Midwest Dairy, Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association, North Dakota Department of Tourism and South Dakota Department of Tourism contributed to this article.

About the Author(s)

Sarah McNaughton

Editor, Dakota Farmer, Farm Progress

Sarah McNaughton is a graduate of North Dakota State University, with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture communications, along with minors in animal science and Extension education. She is working on completing her master’s degree in Extension education and youth development, also at NDSU. In her undergraduate program, she discovered a love for the agriculture industry and the people who work in it through her courses and involvement in professional and student organizations.

After graduating college, Sarah worked at KFGO Radio out of Fargo, N.D., as a farm and ranch reporter. She covered agriculture and agribusiness news for North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. Most recently she was a 4-H Extension agent in Cass County, N.D., teaching, coordinating and facilitating youth programming in various project areas.

She is involved in agriculture in both her professional and personal life, serving on the executive board for North Dakota Agri-Women, and as a member in American Agri-Women, Sigma Alpha Professional Agriculture Sorority Alumni and Professional Women in Agri-business. As a life-long 4-H’er, she is a regular volunteer for North Dakota 4-H programs and events.

In her free time, she is an avid backpacker and hiker, enjoys running with her cattle dog Ripley, and can be found most summer weekends at rodeos around the Midwest.

Sarah is originally from Grand Forks, N.D., and currently resides in Fargo.

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