From the fertile fields of the Red River Valley, west to the gently rolling prairie and finally to the rugged Badlands, agriculture dominates North Dakota’s landscape, just as it dominates the state’s economy and society.
Agriculture is responsible for nearly one fourth of North Dakota’s economic base and accounts for almost 25 percent of all jobs. The hard work of about 32,000 family farmers and ranchers makes North Dakota agriculture a $6 billion giant. These producers supply the nation and the world with vast amounts of food, feed and fiber.
More than 90 percent of North Dakota’s land is in farms and ranches. North Dakota farmers lead the United States in the production of 14 crops including spring wheat, durum wheat, dry edible beans, sunflowers, canola and flax.
North Dakota’s agricultural might also has created the nation’s most innovative farm equipment and crop seed industry. John Deere, Case New Holland and Bobcat have manufacturing plants in North Dakota, but the state also is a major hub for some of the nation’s most successful short-line manufacturers of tillage equipment, grain handling systems, chemical applicators and other machinery that supports large-scale farm operations. Rooted in North Dakota’s rich agricultural heritage, these innovative companies help farmers around the world improve efficiencies and increase yields.
North Dakota endures extreme temperature variations with cold winters and hot summers. Depending on location, average annual precipitation ranges from 14 inches (35.6 cm) to 22 inches (55.9 cm).