Farmers Optimistic About 2010
Posted by: Steve Dick
Despite the winter weather, January is always a very busy month for South Dakota agriculture. This past month has been no different, filled with producer meetings, trade shows and association annual meetings. For farmers, these are great opportunities to connect with other producers, learn about new products and trends, and weigh in on association policies. I've had the opportunity to talk with many of these farmers and am excited about the level of optimism they have for 2010 and beyond.
As you know, nearly every sector of South Dakota agriculture faced either economic or weather challenges in 2009. However farm families across the state have good reasons to be positive about their industry in 2010.
Dairy producers are seeing a rebound in prices for milk they produce. Pork producers are also seeing better prices. Economics for cattle producers are still a challenge, but producers remain optimistic that a broader economic recovery and opening of export markets will boost demand and prices for beef. All livestock producers are feeling the benefit of lower costs for feed and other inputs.
Corn and soybean growers harvested record crops in 2009 and are looking forward to the 2010 growing season.
A positive year for South Dakota farm families would also have a very strong impact on the state's consumers and economy. Agriculture is a significant driver of South Dakota's economy, employing more than 173,000 people, and contributing $645 million in tax revenues. The impact on South Dakota's economy alone from agriculture is $21.3 billion. In addition, as farmers improve productivity, they are able to continue delivering a safe, affordable and nutritious food supply to consumers across South Dakota and beyond.
So, as we head into the back half of winter, farm families are approaching a new growing season with their ever present optimism.... an optimism that has served our state and nation well for many generations.