Although this region of the state is highly productive by way of agriculture, it pales in relationship to other regions of the northern plains. Ben Stoudt, who is with the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, has been meeting with numerous county commissioners around the state of late appeared this morning before the Codington Commissioners today with the numbers.  The comparisons use Codington County versus Kandyohi County in Minnesota and Sioux County in Iowa.  Why compare Codington County using a Minnesota and Iowa county?

He says that, although Codington County is similar in size to Sioux County and Kandyohi County with the populations fairly similar, 28,000 for Codington and around 35,000 in Sioux County in Iowa and just over 42,000 in Kandyohi County in Minnesota, farm production in those surrounding states far outpaces what is being done here locally.



What do the numbers say?

Average corn yield in Codington County is 122 bushels per acres against Sioux County at 143 bushes and Kandyohi at 172 bushels per acre.   Average Soybean Yield?….Codington County 31 bushels, Sioux County Iowa 49.2 and Kandyohi at 44.8. The numbers get even bigger when you start talking livestock.  In Codington County ag statistics from the last census in 2012 shows 4,500  as compared to 35,000 in Sioux County and 6,000 in Kandyohi County.  Beef Cattle showed 62,500 in Codington County in 2012 as compared to 394,000 in Sioux County Iowa and 6,000 in Kandyohi County Minnesota.  Codington County reported just 6,200 swine that year as compared to 1.2 million in Sioux County Iowa and 24,500 in Kandyohi County Minnesota: (dl 56)


(…think about :11)

The average farm size in Codington County is 518 acres as compared to 299 in Iowa and 317 in Minnesota. Crops sales was another category where Codington County in 2012 reported 76 million in sales as compared to 211 for Minnesota and 1.3 billion in Iowa. Here’s another number that will make your head spin.  In 1934 South Dakota had 675,000 dairy cows, today we have 115,000.  Ironically, we have more milk today than we produced in 1934, but that you have to remember those were the dust bowl years when the average yield for corn in Brookings county was 6 bushels per acre.  Last year it was 171 bushels per acre.  He said there’s way more feed these days and far fewer animals which shows the opportunity for farm growth. Why do counties want dairy ag development?  Stoudt says the data shows that every day cow translates to 30,000 dollars a year in revenue impact: (dl 57)


(..into play 1:10)


He also touched on the negative health impacts of the newer larger farm facilities: (dl 58)


(…the state :29)


He says it’s important note that in 1934 no one was regulating the environment and that, today, we are. That was also at a time when we had six times as many cows in the state as we do today. He says much of the risks are being mitigated today


Thirty health factors were included in the study says Stoudt. The new census numbers are expected out soon.