The South Dakota economy is dominated by agriculture, with gross farm income accounting for $1.01 billion in 1970. This places South Dakota among the top ten states in production of the nation's crops and livestock. South Dakota farmers and ranchers are heavily dependent upon transportation services because most agricultural production is shipped out-of-state for processing or feeding. The grain elevator industry, because it operates on small margins, is especially dependent upon fast, efficient transportation to acquire and ship the necessary volume to remain profitable. However, changes in two major areas have created concern for the structure of South Dakota's elevator industry. First, during the 1960-1970 period, the number of South Dakota grain elevators decreased 25 percent, from 533 to 401. This indicates the need for greater volume at remaining elevators and possibly greater transportation costs from farm to elevator. Secondly, from 1960-1970 railroads in South Dakota abandoned 362 miles of track. Railroad abandonment is especially critical to South Dakota's agriculturally-oriented economy because abandonment often threatens the survival of grain elevators and other agri-business firms. The problem of abandonment is becoming more critical because it has been occurring at an increasing rate in recent years, and is likely to proceed even faster in the future. Declining grain elevator numbers plus railroad abandonment also may result in future grain shipment patterns substantially different from current patterns.

  • Corporate Authors:

    South Dakota State University, Brookings

    Agricultural Experiment Station
    Brookings, SD  United States  57006
  • Authors:
    • Payne, W F
  • Publication Date: 1972-9

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 15 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00050080
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: South Dakota State University, Brookings
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Bulletin 601
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 24 1974 12:00AM